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Keywords:

  • family;
  • chronic headache

SYNOPSIS

In an initial attempt to examine relationships between family functioning and chronic headache disorders, the present study examined: a) family structure characteristics, b) family functioning, and c) family pain modeling. Subjects completed an assessment battery consisting of several measures of family functioning. Analyses showed that migraine sufferers (N = 42) as compared to headache-free controls (N=59) were more likely to describe their families as emphasizing clear organization, structure, rules, and overall control, but less likely to encourage emotional expression. No differences were found between tension headache subjects (N = 43) and headache-free controls. While only an initial exploration of the importance of family characteristics in chronic headache, these results suggest that there are important differences in headache subjects' (particularly migraine) reports of family environment and functioning.