Behavioural and temperamental characteristics of children and adolescents suffering from primary headache

L. Mazzone, B. Vitiello, G. Incorpora, D. Mazzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


To examine indices of behavioural and emotional problems and temperamental traits in clinically referred children and adolescents suffering from tension headache or migraine. Headache in childhood and adolescence (<18 years) has been associated with the presence of behavioural and emotional difficulties, but limited data are available on the relationship between these problems and different types of headache. Clinically referred children and adolescents (N = 114), 6-16 years of age, suffering from primary headache according to the diagnostic criteria of the International Headache Society, 47 with tension-type headache (TH) and 67 with migraine (M), and 36 normal controls without headache (NC) were assessed using the Parent Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC), Conner's Parent Rating Scale (CPRS), and Emotionality-Activity-Sociability- Shyness Scale (EAS). Psychological and personality self-rating assessments were obtained also on the children's parents and siblings. Although most headache patients had scores within the normative non-pathological range, both TH and M patients had higher CBCL total, internalizing, and externalizing scores than NC (P < 0.001), and TH patients had higher scores than M patients. TH and M had higher CDI and MASC scores than NC (P < 0.05), with no difference between the headache groups. TH patients had higher Emotionality and Shyness scores, and lower Sociability scores than M patients. Clinically referred children and adolescents with TH and M had higher scores of behavioural and emotional symptoms, both of internalizing and externalizing type, than normal peers. The TH group had greater psychological and temperamental difficulties than the M group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-201
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Headache
  • Mental health
  • Migraine
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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