Objective: To examine the hypothesis that lifetime suicide attempts in a sample of depressed individuals is greater among those who remember their parents as rejecting or neglecting in childhood.
Method: Database analyses of patients referred to a public hospital Mood Disorders Unit in Sydney, over a consecutive 10-year period. Patients met DSM-IV criteria for depression, had completed a self-report questionnaire regarding perception of parental rearing, and had responded to a probe question assessing lifetime suicide attempts (n = 343).
Results: Female patients who perceived themselves as rejected/neglected by either parent in childhood had a greater chance of making at least one lifetime suicide attempt. No such associations were found for males.
Conclusion: Perception of rejecting/neglectful parents was associated with lifetime suicide attempts in females only, inviting research explicating any such gender specificity.