Personality characteristics in juvenile tension headache and migraine

G. Lanzi, U. Balottin, G. Pitillo, C. A. Zambrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors report the personality characteristics of 30 subjects, 16 males and 14 females, average age 13.7 years: 13 suffered from migraine without aura, 8 from migraine with aura and 9 from chronic tension-type headache. The study was based on a detailed clinical assessment (psychodynamically-oriented interviews with the child and its parents) and evaluation by tests. A blind test of the clinical personality characteristics was then carried out. The results of these investigations indicated that 13/30 of the subjects had a neurotic personality organization, 12/30 were borderline and 5/30 had a 'white relation'. Given the subjects' youth, these conditions are probably to be considered transient. From the data collected it seems that migrainous subjects are distributed along a continuum that ranges from one end characterized by more evolved and adaptive mental organization and defence mechanisms and the opposite end, where mental organization is less evolved and adaptive and at a greater risk of somatization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • migraine
  • pediatric age
  • personality characteristics
  • tension headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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