Family Conflicts May Cause Adolescent Headaches

Headaches aren’t typically considered to be major health problems, but in some cases, they can have a significantly negative impact on quality of life and general happiness. Looking for ways to reduce toe prevalence of headaches naturally involves exploring their causes, and a range of triggers for headaches have been identified in numerous studies. In the case of children, however, research is still uncovering new sources of head pain and related issues. Recently, a study performed in Germany investigated the impact of family conflicts and free time to oneself on the occurrence of headaches in children. The results, as might be expected, indicate that frequent arguments and other stressful situations in the home can lead to more frequent headaches.

The study worked with a number of youths and their families, and focused on discovering at least in part why nearly thirty percent of the world’s children report at least once weekly symptoms of headaches. Gathering data from the participants, the researchers found that those families in which young boys experienced fights or other conflicts more than once per week were greatly more conducive to headaches among children; such boys were approximately 1.8 times more likely to report issues with headaches. Boys who reported experiencing occasional rather than frequent free time to themselves were over two times as likely to experience headaches.

While the resolution and prevention of familial conflicts is likely to be on the agenda of most families participating in therapy, addressing such issues and helping children develop coping strategies and secure more alone time may be of great importance not only for mental well-being, but for the potential to reduce regular physical pain and interference with daily life as well.

© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Bruce


    September 9th, 2009 at 2:18 PM

    This is a sad statistic for our children. It’s horrible that all the conflict in marriages and families these days are having such an effect on young ones. I think so many families could benefit from a little therapy, if not for the sake of the parents and their relationship, then for the sake of the children.

  • Stone


    September 9th, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    Family status and parental relationship do have a huge role in a child’s mental health. A child who is in an environment where his parents are always conflicting will not be happy and this will have a negative impact on his mental health and also his happiness factor. Family conditions need to be peaceful and happy for a child to be happy too. Any person would be disturbed if there was chaos at his home, and it is all the more disturbing for children if the environment at home is chaotic. Parents need to keep this in mind and try and maintain a suitable environment at home.

  • Marshall


    September 9th, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    Individuals who grow up in a household that has had constant conflicts between the parents become aggressive and are not content with their lives. This has been proved by several surveys and researches.

    Most parents do try and be good to their kids even if they have problems with their partners. But they must also remember that conflicts with their partners will be detrimental to the child’s mental health in general and that the child deserves better.

  • Steward


    September 10th, 2009 at 10:04 AM

    Children should be shielded from such stressful situations and the parents must look to resolve the issue rather than fight over it, at least for the sake of their child and the child’s mental health. this is very important for the child’s development.

  • Sandra


    September 10th, 2009 at 1:50 PM

    Stress always gives me a headache. That is just how it manifests itself in me. I can only imagine what kind of pain it must could cause kids who have no ways of really knowing how to cope in uncomfortable and stressful situations.

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