A Comparison of Law Enforcement Divorce Rates with Those of Other Occupations

  • Shawn P. McCoy
  • Michael G. AamodtEmail author


It is a common belief that the divorce rate for police officers is higher than that of the general population. This belief is commonly held in spite of the fact that there is no empirical research supporting such a belief. To compare the divorce rate of law enforcement personnel with the rates for other occupations, we analyzed data from the 2000 U.S. Census. The results of this analysis indicate that the divorce rate for law enforcement personnel is lower than that of the general population, even after controlling for demographic and other job-related variables.


Law enforcement divorce 


  1. Aamodt MG (2004) Research in law enforcement selection. BrownWalker Publishing, Boca Raton, FLGoogle Scholar
  2. Aamodt MG (2008) Reducing misconceptions and false beliefs in police and criminal psychology. Crim Justice Behav 35(10):1231–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown JM, Campbell EA (1994) Stress and policing: sources and strategies. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  4. Dantzker ML (2005) Understanding today's police, 4th edn. Criminal Justice Press, Monsey, NYGoogle Scholar
  5. Durner JA, Kroeker MA, Miller CR, Reynolds WR (1975) Divorce: another occupational hazard. Police Chief 42(1):48–53Google Scholar
  6. Honig A (2007) Facts refute long-standing myths about law enforcement officers. The National Psychologist 16(5):23Google Scholar
  7. Jurkanin TJ, Hillard TG (2006) Chicago police: an inside view. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, ILGoogle Scholar
  8. Kappeler VE, Blumberg M, Potter GW (2000) The mythology of crime and criminal justice, 3rd edn. Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, ILGoogle Scholar
  9. Kroes WH, Margolis B, Hurrell JJ (1974) Job stress in policemen. J Police Sci Adm 2:145–155Google Scholar
  10. Lichtenberger JP (1909) Divorce: a study for social causation. Columbia University, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Niederhoffer A, Niederhoffer E (1978) The police family: from station house to ranch house. Lexington Books, Lexington, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. Territo L, Sewell JD (2007) Stress management in law enforcement, 2nd edn. Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NCGoogle Scholar
  13. Wells SK, Alt BL (2005) Police women: life with a badge. Praeger, Westport, CTGoogle Scholar
  14. Whitehouse JE (1965) A preliminary inquiry into the occupational disadvantages of law enforcement officers. Police 3:30–35Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyRadford UniversityRadfordUSA

Personalised recommendations