Singapore Time to Conception Study

Why is this study being conducted and why should you participate?

Singapore’s total fertility rate stands at 1.25, well below the population replacement level. One of the reasons for the low rate is a relatively high average age at childbearing. This study attempts to understand the factors behind timing of parenthood after marriage. Your participation will help us uncover the attitudes and motivations of Singaporean women towards childbearing, as well as the constraints and issues they face.

Who can participate in the research?

Married women who are Singaporean citizens or married to a Singaporean citizen between the ages of 25 and 34 are invited to participate in the research. All participants must be able to read, write and speak in English.

What is the approximate number of research participants involved?

Around 660 participants will be involved in the study.

What does participation involve?

This research study involves two stages.

  1. An interviewer will visit you at your residence, a café or similar public space. They will ask you some questions about your family, your views about having children in Singapore and work-life balance. In addition, there will be some confidential questions, e.g. frequency and satisfaction with sexual activity within marriage, life and marital satisfaction, and height and weight. These questions will not be asked by the interviewer but through a computerized self-administered questionnaire. Please answer these questions as truthfully as possible. Your answers cannot be viewed by the interviewer and are not directly linked to your personal information. The interview will take up to 60 minutes. All participants will receive a token of appreciation in Fairprice vouchers. In addition, some participants will be randomly selected to receive an additional gift and some instructions on how to use it.
  2. For the next 14 weeks after the interview, you will receive biweekly messages via email and/or Whatsapp. The message will provide you with an online link to online diary with questions. The questions will take around five minutes to answer. Again, your answers are not directly linked to your personal information.Unless other requested, you may receive reminders to complete the online diary via email and/or Whatsapp. Participants who complete the online diary will receive a token of appreciation in Fairprice vouchers.

In addition, up to 20 individuals out of 660 participants may be invited to participate in a one-time 90-minute focus group discussion. Invited participants can accept or refuse the invitation without penalty. The focus group will allow us to explore some topics from the initial interview in greater depth.

No travel is required to participate in this research, except for the participants joining the one-time 90-minute focus group discussion. These participants will be asked to travel to the Nexus Link Pte Ltd office and will be reimbursed at least $50 to cover their travel costs.

Some research designs require that the full extent of the study not be explained prior to participation. Although we have described the general nature of the tasks that you will be asked to perform, the full intent of the study will not be explained to you until after the completion of the study. At that time, we will provide you with a full debriefing which will include an explanation of the hypothesis that was tested and other relevant background information pertaining to the study. You will also be given an opportunity to ask any questions you have about the hypothesis and the procedures used in the study.

What are the drawbacks of participation?

The interview and online diary will ask some confidential questions, e.g. frequency and satisfaction with sexual activity within the marriage, life and marital satisfaction, and height and weight. These questions will not be asked by the interviewer but through a computerized self-administered questionnaire. Please answer these questions as truthfully as possible. Your answers cannot be viewed by the interviewer and are not directly linked to your personal information, except for de-identified geographical location, e.g. street or block number.

How will my privacy and the confidentiality of my research records be protected?

Only the principal investigator has your personal information (name and contact information). Your contact information will only be used to contact you for the interview and the online diary. Your personal information is not directly linked to your survey or online diary responses, except for de-identified geographical location, e.g. street or block number. All your responses will be linked using a randomly generated numerical identifier (i.e. a code number) at the earliest possible stage of the research. The identifiers are stored in a password-protected computer in the National University of Singapore and this will not be released to any other person, including members of the research team. Personal data will never be used in a publication or presentation.

All data collected will be kept in accordance to the University’s Research Data Management Policy. Research data used in any publication will be kept for a minimum of 10 years before being discarded. Unless otherwise requested, you may be contacted by researchers to participate in follow-up studies, and your data will be retained for 10 years for this purpose.

What is the compensation for any injury?

No injury and/or compensation are expected.

Will there be reimbursement for participation?

All participants will receive $20 in Fairprice vouchers for the interview, and up to another $100 in Fairprice vouchers after completing the biweekly online diary for 14 weeks. Participants must complete all biweekly entries to be eligible for reimbursement.

What are the possible benefits to me and to others?

There is no direct benefit to you by participating in this research study. The knowledge gained may benefit the public in the future.

Whom should I call if I have any questions or problems?

Please contact the Principal Investigator, Tan Poh Lin or Attn: Hanis Farhanah Yusof at telephone (+65)96602279 and email decb64_dGltZXRvY29uY2VwdGlvbkBudXMuZWR1LnNn_decb64 for all research-related matters.