Being good spouse a priority: Poll

Being good spouse a priority: Poll

SINGAPORE - Being a good spouse is one of the top priorities for 81 per cent of Singaporeans, research by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has found.

In the survey of 2,000 Singaporeans of different marital statuses last year, 84 per cent of the 1,440 married respondents also said they were satisfied with their marriages.

Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Low Yen Ling said yesterday: "It's great to know that Singaporeans not only value marriages, (but) they also wish to be good spouses."

She was speaking at the opening session of the Marriage Convention, which was launched yesterday by Families for Life, formerly known as the National Family Council.

Formed in 2006 to promote resilient families, the council comprises 10 volunteers appointed for a two-year term by the MSF.

The event, now into its ninth year, comprises seminars conducted in four languages by marriage experts. It aims to help couples improve their communication and strengthen their marriages.

To better support newlyweds, the MSF is also exploring how to introduce evidence-based marriage preparation and enrichment programmes with community partners, Ms Low said.

Such programmes would be backed by research showing that certain skills are effective in helping couples make their marriage work, she added, so they would not be "just based on anecdotal feedback but based on very specific evidence - most of it being quantitative".

For instance, a 2012 qualitative study of more than 500 married individuals and marriage counsellors here found that couples with prior positive interactions with counsellors, such as in marriage preparation programmes, stand a better chance at overcoming crises. More details of the evidence-based programmes will be given at the end of this year or early next year.

About 300 marriage solemnisers and community partners, and about 1,500 couples were expected to attend the event, which ended yesterday.

It is held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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