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Top Five Jobs With High Chance of Divorce

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Approximately 10 percent of all Americans older than age 15 were divorced in 2009, according to a report by the Associated Press, republished on, citing figures released by the United States Census Bureau. It is impossible to determine whether certain jobs are naturally more prone to divorce or if people with unstable personalities are drawn to certain lines of work, according to "The Washington Post." Nonetheless, people in some jobs seem to have an unusually high risk for divorce.

Entertainers And Athletes

According to a 2009 study, "A Comparison of Law Enforcement Divorce Rates with Those of Other Occupations," published in the "Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology" and reported internationally, dancers and choreographers had the highest probability of divorce. Entertainers and athletes also have a high risk of divorce according to the study, which was co-authored by Michael Aamodt, professor emeritus at Radford University in Virginia, along with student Shawn McCoy. Infidelity plays a major factor in the failure of such high-profile marriages as those of Tiger Woods and Britney Spears, "Independent Woman" reports.

Helping Professions

The marriages of massage therapists, nurses and home health aides were also at high risk for divorce, according to Aamodt and McCoy. The stress of the work was an obvious factor, according to Dai Williams, an occupational psychologist and member of the British Psychological Society, quoted by However, long hours and demanding work alone are not to blame for the stress on medical workers' relationships. Instead, many physicians fail to leave work at work and shortchange their families in the process, claims Wayne Sotile, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, quoted by the "National Review of Medicine."

Hospitality Workers

Workers in the hospitality industry, including baggage porters, bartenders and concierges, also face high rates of divorce, according to Aamodt and McCoy. High levels of stress combined with little control over their work are contributing factors, according to "Independent Woman." Hospitality workers who work irregular hours are also more vulnerable to temptation on the job in the form of co-workers and patrons, many of whom dress provocatively, according to Frank Lin, a Nevada divorce attorney quoted in a report by the Associated Press, republished on

Law Enforcement And Military

Long deployments away from their families in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to sharply increasing divorce rates among enlisted soldiers and officers, according to reports from 2005 and 2008 published by "USA Today." Jeff Shannon, a police officer and licensed marriage and family therapist in California, in a blog post republished by "Law Enforcement Today," blames "police personality" for high rates of divorce among law enforcement officers. According to Shannon, citing John Gottman's book "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work," men who refused to share control with their wives had an 81 percent chance of divorce.

Less Educated And Low-Wage Workers

Workers with lower levels of education were more likely to divorce than individuals with college degrees, according to University of Maryland sociologist Steve Martin, quoted by One reason is that college-educated women are more likely to work outside the home, which has a stabilizing effect on marriage, according to research conducted by Stephanie Coontz, a family studies instructor at Evergreen State College in Washington State, also quoted by Better-educated workers tend to obtain better-paid jobs, which produces less stress in marriages, explains Andrew J. Cherlin, a sociology professor Johns Hopkins University, quoted by


Chris Blank is an independent writer and research consultant with more than 20 years' experience. Blank specializes in social policy analysis, current events, popular culture and travel. His work has appeared both online and in print publications. He holds a Master of Arts in sociology and a Juris Doctor.

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