I am using PostgreSQL 11.6 and I have two tables: a parent and a child table. The child table is associated to the parent in that it has a parent_id column and a parent can have many child rows associated. The child also has a status column that I'd like to filter on.

Here are my requirements. I need to return all rows from the parent table where either:

  • there is NO associated child row present
  • there are child rows present but none of those rows have a value in their status column of at_home


parent table
| id |
|  1 |
|  2 |
child table
| id  parent_id   status |
| 1   1       at_school  |
| 2   1       at_shop    |
| 3   1       at_home    |

My query should return only the parent with an id of 2 since that parent doesn't have an associated child record. The parent with an id of 1 should only been returned if none if it's present child records had an at_home status. With my query below, it is currently still being returned (which is incorrect).

I'm trying a query like this right now but it's not working because I'm filtering on child where the status is != to at_home, but it still returns a parent record because rows 1 and 2 of the child records above match that condition:

SELECT parent.* FROM parent LEFT OUTER JOIN child ON child.parent_id = parent.id WHERE (child.id is NULL OR child.status != 'at_home')

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • There are two child rows for parent 1 where status <> 'at_home', so why shouldn't it be returned? Perhaps you could clarify your condition. Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 15:47
  • @LaurenzAlbe yes, it is just a custom business requirement. There can be multiple status's for child rows present against a parent but as soon as a status exists with at_home, I don't want any parent rows to be returned
    – jewnbug97
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 15:57

1 Answer 1

SELECT * FROM parent
                  WHERE child.parent_id = parent.id
                  AND child.status = 'at_home');
  • Nice! Does this also return the parent when no child records are present for it?
    – jewnbug97
    Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 16:34
  • Sure, because then there is also no child that satisfies the NOT EXISTS condition. Commented Apr 15, 2020 at 19:05

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