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Attachment styles and headache


The internal working model on attachment dimensions changes with significant emotional experiences. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if and how the internal working models correlate with primary headaches. Attachment dimensions of subjects suffering from primary headaches were studied. One hundred and fourteen subjects [68 with migraine, 23 with tension–type headache (according to ICHD–I criteria), 23 with chronic daily headache (according to Silberstein’s criteria)], were studied and compared with a control group of 57 subjects (matched in sex, age and social level) not suffering from any primary headache. Attachment dimensions were investigated using the Adult Attachment Questionnaire (AAQ) and the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ). Headache sufferers seem to be characterised by attachment styles of the “insecure” type. In particular they seem to feel extremely ill at ease if there is an expectation of reduction of interpersonal distance.

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Correspondence to L. Savi.

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Savi, L., Buccheri, R., Tambornini, A. et al. Attachment styles and headache. J Headache Pain 6, 254–257 (2005).

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Key words

  • Attachment styles
  • Migraine
  • Tension–type headache
  • Chronic daily headache
  • Internal working model