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Study: Divorce Rates By Occupation

If you marry a nuclear engineer instead of a dancer, are you more or less likely to call an Atlanta divorce attorney? Does it even make a difference? This question was put to the test in a new study breaking down divorce rates by occupation, The Washington Post reported.

Conducted by Radford University professor Michael Aamodt, it will be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. The professor's prior research mostly centered around the personalities of cops, including one study in which he discredited the myth that police officers have a higher-than-average suicide rate.

He had difficulty obtaining divorce statistics based on occupation when he began researching the domestic lives of cops, so study co-author Shawn P. McCoy pressed for (and eventually obtained) US Census Bureau data that could show divorce rates by occupation.

They decided to expand the study to include the divorce rates corresponding to a wide spectrum of occupations.

In answer to the question in the first sentence; dancers (and choreographers) had the highest divorce rate (43.1 percent), while agricultural, sales and nuclear engineers were among the 10 occupations with the lowest rates (percentages were not provided). 

Other professions with low divorce rates include optometrists (4 percent), clergy (5.6 percent) and podiatrists (6.8 percent). 

Even though it may be more enlightening to know why different occupations are more hazardous to one's marriage than others, the authors made it clear that the data doesn't suggest whether it's the job the leads to divorce or if certain people who are prone to failed relationships are attracted to certain professions.

Michael Aamodt said several of his graduate students are looking into the question of why for a follow-up study, acknowledging that the study probably raises more questions than it answers:

"Why are bartenders this way and engineers that way? Unfortunately we just don't know."

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