The role of psychological factors related to headache has long been a focus of investigation. The aim of this study was to evaluate anxiety, depression, hostility and psychological symptoms in patients with migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) and to compare the results with healthy controls. Seventy-five subjects with migraine and 55 subjects with TTH (according to the criteria of the International Headache Society classification) and a control group including 73 healthy subjects were studied. The Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory, State-trait Anxiety Inventory, Trait form were administered to the subjects. Compared with healthy controls, the patients with headache had significantly higher scores on measures of anxiety, depression and hostility and lower scores on psychological symptoms. The present results indicate the need to distinguish the unique dimensions of anxiety, depression and hostility that should be assessed in the population with headaches.