• depression;
  • parental bonding instrument;
  • prolongation;
  • risk factors;
  • sex difference

Aims:  The aim of the present study was to determine whether or not the effect of parenting by the father and mother on outcomes for depression may be different between male and female subjects.

Methods:  A total of 115 patients were involved in this investigation: 74 had states of depression that continued for more than 2 years, and 41 had symptoms that remitted within 4 months. The Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) was used to test for gender differences in the PBI score, the level of education, and the age at which the depression began, using an unpaired t-test.

Results:  It is suggested that female patients with low paternal care and low levels of education have a higher likelihood of showing symptoms of prolonged depression in a primary episode. No relationship was found among prolongation of depression, educational level, and parental care in male patients. Furthermore, comparing the PBI quadrants established by Parker showed that female patients who were exposed to paternal care as ‘Affectionless Control’, had a tendency towards a higher risk of prolonged depression than female patients who received ‘Optimal Parenting’.

Conclusion:  Especially in female patients, the prolongation of depression is likely a result of low levels of paternal care and low education.