Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

Dr. Justin Nash

Honors Major

Allied Health Sciences


Neurology | Neurosciences | Other Chemicals and Drugs | Other Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Public Health


Years of research has shown that headache (in terms of frequency, duration, and severity) is perpetuated by dysregulation of lifestyle behaviors such as sleep habits, eating habits, level of stress, physical activity etc. Our project aims to explore the potential combined and independent impacts that having ADHD/ADD and taking stimulant drugs have on disrupting one’s lifestyle and examine whether dysregulated lifestyle behaviors contribute to one’s headache experience. No research has investigated how both ADHD/ADD and stimulant drug use effect headache experience. In this cross-sectional study, 177 UConn undergraduate students completed a 10-minute survey regarding lifestyle behaviors and headache experience. Participants were divided into one of three groups based on whether they have ADHD/ADD or not and whether they take stimulant medication or not. The results showed no significant difference in headache frequency, duration, or severity across the groups. The three groups differed regarding inconsistencies in bedtime (Chi-Square(2) = 6.302, p < 0.05) and waking time (Chi-Square(2) = 6.865, p< 0.05). The results showed a relationship between having ADHD/ADD and having a more dysregulated sleep schedule. While the groups did not differ significantly in weekly frequency of skipping meals (Chi-Square(2) = 4.743, p = 0.093), a trend towards an association was observed as the percentage of participants who skipped meals at least four days per week was larger (69.23%) in the ADHD/ADD Stimulant group than in the No ADHD/ADD group (38.46%) and the ADHD/ADD No Stimulants group (37.5%). This study lays the foundation for more future research to be conducted.