OBJECTIVES: To examine psychosocial correlates of suicide attempts in a community population. METHODS: This study investigated suicide attempt history, demographic and psychosocial characteristics including depression using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and responses to a questionnaire about attitudes toward suicide in a community sample. The demographic and psychosocial correlates of suicide attempts were evaluated using univariate and multivariate analyses. RESULTS: A total of 1,578 people completed the survey. Of these, 100 people (6.3%) had attempted suicide. In the univariate analyses, risk factors for attempted suicide were divorce, lower level of education, lack of a stable job, living in a rented house, undergoing psychiatric treatment, a family history of psychiatric illness, and being depressed (BDI > or =22). In the multivariate analysis, living in a rented house, undergoing psychiatric treatment, and being depressed were significantly associated with attempted suicide. Of the individuals who had attempted suicide, 42.0% were currently depressed, whereas the prevalence of depression in those who had not attempted suicide was 9.1%. In addition, individuals who had attempted suicide had permissive attitudes toward suicide and negative attitudes toward treatment for suicidal behavior. CONCLUSION: Attempted suicide was significantly associated with depression. Therefore, immediate and appropriate psychiatric treatment for depression in those attempting suicide is crucial.