Conclusions Divorce among physicians is less common than among non-healthcare workers and several health professions. Divorce measures Before the American census survey only recorded current marital status married, separated, divorced, widowed, or never married. Secondly, in comparing the incidence of divorce across occupations, it is important to note that the annual incidence of divorce that is, the hazard rate of divorce may vary depending on how long someone has been married. Average hours worked per week were highest among physicians Results After adjustment for covariates, the probability of being ever divorced or divorce prevalence among physicians evaluated at the mean value of other covariates was
For categorical variables such as state and year, we computed the adjusted values at the means of the individual indicator variables that is, reflecting the mean proportion of the sample in each category, for example, the proportion of the sample in a given state and year. In addition to estimating the adjusted prevalence and incidence of divorce by occupation we examined the impact of age, race, sex, annual income, and hours worked on the prevalence and incidence of divorce among physicians, adjusting for the number of years since someone became married. Design Retrospective analysis of nationally representative surveys conducted by the US census, The percentage of physicians surveyed who were white was If professionals in specific occupations marry at different ages, then a survey at a given time may misclassify occupations as having different divorce rates simply because people in those occupations were sampled at varying lengths of time after marriage. There are many reasons to question whether previous estimates of divorce among US physicians are pertinent, given the limited sample sizes of most studies, the changes in demographics, work hours, and earnings among US physicians, 19 20 and the fact that overall divorce rates in the United States have fallen dramatically since the time of these studies from 5. Methods Data sources We estimated both the prevalence and the incidence of divorce in various occupational groups using the American community survey, a nationally representative, cross sectional survey of approximately three million households annually, administered by the US Census Bureau. Average hours worked per week were highest among physicians Although in our descriptive analysis we reported unadjusted differences across occupation in each of these three measures of divorce, in our statistical analysis—which adjusted for factors associated with divorce—we used the prevalence and incidence of divorce as the primary outcomes. Secondly, because those who are currently married may have been remarried after a previous divorce, we identified whether respondents had ever been divorced, defined by whether they were either currently divorced or reported being married more than once. Firstly, we identified whether a respondent was currently divorced at the time of survey. With these data we examined how the probability of divorce among physicians compared with other healthcare professionals as well as those not employed in healthcare. Our sample included 48 physicians, 10 dentists, 13 pharmacists, nurses, 18 healthcare executives, 59 lawyers, and 6 other non-healthcare professionals. For example, if the annual rate of divorce was identical across occupations but physicians marry later in life, then at any given time physicians would be less likely to report ever having divorced compared with people in other occupations, simply because they were at risk for less time. Table 1 Characteristics of study population, Characteristics. Statistical analysis We began by comparing unadjusted measures of divorce the probability of being divorced at the time of the census survey, the probability of being ever divorced, and the probability of divorcing in the past year among physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, healthcare executives, lawyers, and others employed outside of the healthcare industry. The survey is mandatory and is collected by mail, telephone, and personal visit interviews. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. This divorce measure reflects the prevalence of divorce—that is, how likely someone was to have ever been divorced at any given time. Firstly, in comparing the prevalence of divorce across occupations, it is important to recognize that if people in specific occupations tend to marry at different ages, estimated differences in the prevalence of divorce across occupation could reflect differing ages at marriage across occupations rather than different underlying divorce risk. It is therefore important to adjust for the number of years since someone became married in the most recent marriage. We computed the adjusted probabilities by taking the predicted values from the logistic regression models holding all covariates except for occupation at their mean values that is, we held the mean of other covariates constant across occupations. Abstract Objectives To estimate the prevalence and incidence of divorce among US physicians compared with other healthcare professionals, lawyers, and non-healthcare professionals, and to analyze factors associated with divorce among physicians. After estimating the logistic models, we reported the adjusted prevalence and incidence of divorce by occupation. In multivariable analysis among physicians, divorce prevalence was greater among women odds ratio 1. Accounting for the length of time since someone was married is therefore important.
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