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Title: What Makes a Successful Marriage: Implications for Practice
Keywords: Marital Satisfaction, Successful Marriage, Marriage Pillars
Issue Date: 18-Apr-2007
Citation: HENG PHEK LANG, LINDA (2007-04-18). What Makes a Successful Marriage: Implications for Practice. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to find out a??What makes a Successful Marriagea??. It seeks to examine what the important ingredients are that will contribute to marital satisfaction. This research utilises the strength approach in finding out what works in a marriage. Once we know what they are, we can in turn, propagate and teach couples these important marital strengths to help them build happy and successful marriages. The target respondents of this research are couples who have been married for five years and above. The reason is because the Singapore law requires that a couple to be separated for at least 3 years before they can proceed to file for divorce. It is important to exclude the latter group so that we study marriages that are still intact.The methodology adopted is quantitative in nature, i.e. using a survey questionnaire that was administered via the internet with the invaluable assistance of NTUC Income whose data base has over 1.8 million policy holders in Singapore. The sample size of 3,000 yielded a total of 310 respondents which is a relatively good return rate of 10.3%, based on existing norm for internet surveys.To gain a better understanding of the research subject and to help me conceptualise and design the questionnaire, 3 focus group discussions were conducted. One was with service providers or professionals working with couples in counseling and/or premarital/marriage education setting. The other 2 focus groups were conducted with a group of married couples.Dr Olsona??s Enrich Marital Satisfaction Scale (EMS) was used in the questionnaire. It showed a high reliability in my sample with an overall Alpha value of 0.889. In Dr Olsona??s EMS, there is an implicit assumption that the ten item variables are able to explain marital satisfaction equally. In an attempt to fine tune and build on Dr Olsona??s method for measuring marital satisfaction, I developed a weighted EMS Score for Singapore marriages. Results showed that there were substantial differences in the importance of the 10 variables as determined by the t-tests, which ranged from 3.71 for satisfaction with common leisure activities to 0.68 for agreement on financial decisions. From an empirical perspective, results revealed that conducting regressions using the weighted EMS produced slightly higher adjusted R squares and t values than using the un-weighted EMS as a dependent variable. Using stepwise multiple regressions, a model of marital strength factors was developed to explain and predict marital satisfaction using weighted EMS. The result was the identification of 6 factors that could explain and predict marital satisfaction. Next, I developed a conceptual illustration of these 6 Marriage PillarsA? for practitioners, marriage educators and policy makers when working with couples to build happy and successful marriages. Successful marriages are the pillars of a strong society. These 6 Marriage PillarsA? were identified as Communication, Consensus, Conflict Styles, Common Leisure, Sexual Contentment and Confiding in Spouse. This model was further refined when gender was taken into account. It was found that only 5 pillars were significant for male and female. Both shared the same first 4 marriage pillars but the 5th pillar was different. The 5th pillar for the males was Confide in Spouse and Sexual Contentment for the females respectively. The order of importance was also slightly different for males and females except for the first 2 pillars. Hence, the 5 Marriage PillarsA? for males were Communication, Consensus, Common Leisure, Conflict Styles and Confide in Spouse. The 5 Marriage PillarsA? for females were Communication, Consensus, Conflict Styles, Sexual Contentment and Common Leisure.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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