Perceived teacher unfairness and headache in adolescence: A cross-national comparison

Michela Lenzi, Alessio Vieno, Roberto De Vogli, Massimo Santinello, Veronika Ottova, Tibor Baška, Robert Griebler, Inese Gobina, Margarida Gaspar De Matos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The present study examines the prevalence of headache in early adolescents in 21 European and North-American countries and the role of perceived teacher unfairness in predicting this health complaint across different countries. Methods: Data were taken from the "Health Behaviour in School-aged Children" study (HBSC), a World Health Organization cross-national survey on health behaviors in 11-, 13- and 15-year-old students. Headache and perceived teacher unfairness were measured through a self-administered questionnaire filled out by 115,212 adolescents. Results: The overall prevalence of frequent headaches (at least once a week) was 28.8%, ranging from 18.9% in Slovenia to 49.4% in Israel. After adjusting for gender, grade, family affluence, school achievement, being bullied and lifestyles (drinking, smoking, eating and physical activity), teacher unfairness showed a significant association with frequent headache in all but two countries (Ukraine and Luxembourg). Conclusions: Our results show that headache is a common health symptom in European and North-American countries, even though there are substantial differences in its prevalence across countries. The study indicates that perceived teacher unfairness can be a significant predictor of frequent headache during adolescence, and this association is consistent across countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Adolescence
  • Cross-national
  • Headache
  • School
  • Teacher unfairness
  • WHO

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 5.1 Psychology
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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