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Self-concept evaluation and migraine without aura in childhood

Authors Esposito M, Gallai B, Parisi L, Castaldo L, Marotta R, Lavano SM, Mazzotta G, Roccella M, Carotenuto M

Received 3 June 2013

Accepted for publication 21 June 2013

Published 5 August 2013 Volume 2013:9 Pages 1061—1066

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S49364

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Maria Esposito,1 Beatrice Gallai,2 Lucia Parisi,3 Laura Castaldo,1 Rosa Marotta,4 Serena Marianna Lavano,4 Giovanni Mazzotta,5 Michele Roccella,3 Marco Carotenuto1

1Center for Childhood Headache, Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy; 2Unit of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy; 3Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy; 4Department of Psychiatry, "Magna Graecia" University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 5Unit of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, AUSL Umbria 2, Terni, Italy

Introduction: Self-esteem is related to the broadly understood concept of self-schemas and is a crucial mechanism for a correct psychological development in children and adolescents. The impact of the many psychological difficulties linked to the migraine without aura (MoA) and recurrent headache attacks, such as anger and separation anxiety, on self-esteem has not yet been well investigated. The aims of the present study were to assess self-esteem levels in an objective way and to verify their possible relationship and correlation with the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks, in a population of children and adolescents affected by MoA.
Methods: The study population was comprised of 185 children (88 males [M], 97 females [F]) aged between 6 and 12 years (mean 9.04 ± 2.41 years) referred consecutively for MoA to the Center for Childhood Headache, Clinic of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, Second University of Naples and of 203 healthy controls (95 M, 108 F) with mean age 9.16 ± 2.37 years, recruited from schools in Campania. The monthly headache frequency and the mean headache duration were assessed from daily headache diaries kept by all the children, and MoA intensity was assessed on a VAS (visual analog scale). To further evaluate their level of self-concept, all subjects filled out the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale (MSCS).
Results: The two study groups were comparable for age (P = 0.621), sex (P = 0.960), and z-score BMI (P = 0.102). The MoA group showed a significant reduction in the MSCS total score (P < 0.001) and in the Social (P < 0.001), Affect (P < 0.001), Family (P < 0.001), and Physical (P < 0.001) domains of the MSCS compared with the control group. The Pearson's correlation analysis showed a significantly negative relationship between MoA clinical characteristics and MSCS scores, and similarly the frequency of attacks was significantly negatively related with the Social (r = −0.3176; P < 0.001), Competence (r = −0.2349; P = 0.001), Physical (r = −0.2378; P = 0.001), and total (r = −0.2825; P < 0.001) scores of the MSCS. On the other hand, the MoA duration was significantly negatively related with the Social (r = −0.1878; P = 0.01), Competence (r = −0.2270; P = 0.002), Physical (r = −0.1976; P = 0.007), and total (r = −0.1903; P = 0.009) scores of the MSCS.
Conclusion: Our study first identified differences in self-esteem levels, with an objective tool, in children affected by MoA compared with controls, suggesting the need for evaluation of self-esteem for better psychological pediatric management of children with migraine.

Keywords: children, self-esteem, MSCS

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