Theoretical models propose bidirectional, longitudinal relationships between parent factors and adolescent headache. Few studies have examined this using prospective study designs.
Participants were a cohort of 239 youth ages 11-17 years with recurrent migraine (with and without aura; chronic migraine) or tension-type headache (episodic and chronic) and their parents recruited from a pediatric neurology clinic and the community who completed assessments at baseline and 6-month follow-up.
After controlling for demographic and clinical covariates, we found that every point increase in baseline protective parenting behavior corresponded with a 2.19-point increase in adolescent headache frequency at follow-up (P = .026, 95% CI [0.27, 4.10]). Similarly, every point increase in baseline parent catastrophizing corresponded with a 0.93-point increase in adolescent headache-related disability (P = .029, 95% CI [0.09, 1.77]) and a .13-point increase in adolescent headache frequency (P = .042, 95% CI [0.01, 0.25]) at follow-up. We also found support for the reverse association, where every point increase in baseline adolescent headache-related disability predicted a 0.03-point increase in parent catastrophizing (P = .016, 95% CI [0.01, 0.05]) and a 0.02-point increase in protective parenting behavior (P = .009, 95% CI [0.01, 0.03]) at follow-up. The remaining bidirectional, longitudinal associations tested between parent factors and adolescent headache were not statistically significant.
Findings suggest that family-based psychological interventions targeting modifiable adolescent and parent factors may lead to improvements in adolescent headache-related disability and reductions in adolescent headache frequency.
© 2020 American Headache Society.