I recently received this email, which I thought was a great question, and one of wider interest…
I am an MPH student in biostatistics and I am curious about using regression for tests of associations in applied statistical analysis. Why is using regression, or logistic regression “better” than doing bivariate analysis such as Chi-square?
I read a lot of studies in my graduate school studies, and it seems like half of the studies use Chi-Square to test for association between variables, and the other half, who just seem to be trying to be fancy, conduct some complicated regression-adjusted for-controlled by- model. But the end results seem to be the same. I have worked with some professionals that say simple is better, and that using Chi- Square is just fine, but I have worked with other professors that insist on building models. It also just seems so much more simple to do chi-square when you are doing primarily categorical analysis.
My professors don’t seem to be able to give me a simple justified
answer, so I thought I’d ask you. I enjoy reading your site and plan to begin participating in your webinars.