• headache;
  • migraine

Abstract We examined headache activity in 900 Australian youth aged 10–18, using a self-report questionnaire. Headache prevalence, duration, severity, symptomatology and precipitants were examined, as well as the self-statements and coping responses of children. Headaches were experienced by most children, and girls reported more frequent headaches than boys. Common headache symptoms included those traditionally associated with muscle-contraction headache and migraine. Some children reported that they found headaches to be a terrible experience and ‘wished they would die’ during a headache. Of the various coping responses that were endorsed, the use of medication was the most frequent. Methodological problems include the reliability and validity of self-report data, and the limitations of cross-sectional investigations.