Second Malaysian Family Life Survey: 1988 Interviews (ICPSR 9805)

Published: Nov 4, 2005

Principal Investigator(s):
Julie DaVanzo, RAND Corporation; John Haaga, RAND Corporation


Version V3

This collection, the second wave of a panel survey, provides household-level retrospective and current data for Peninsular Malaysian women and their husbands and covers traditional topics of demographic research such as fertility, nuptiality, migration, and mortality as well as social and economic factors affecting family decision-making. The overall purpose of the data collection was to study household behavior in diverse settings during a period of rapid demographic and socioeconomic change. Eight survey instruments were used in this study. The tracking instrument, MFLS-2, was used for all households where an interview was attempted, and recorded information such as disposition of survey and questionnaires, number of eligibles, and respondent identifiers. The MF20 instrument, Household Members, was administered to all Panel sample households that were located. It solicited information on the status of the household members and included items such as location, marital status, education, and birthdate. The MF21 form, Household Roster, was used on all households interviewed in the survey. This form collected demographic information on current and very recent household members. The MF22 form, Female Life History, surveyed the Panel women and their selected daughters and daughters-in-law, and the New Sample women. Information collected by this form included pregnancy history and related events, marital, work, and migration histories, family background, and education. The MF23 form, Male Life History, collected data from husbands of the Panel women, selected sons and sons-in-law, and husbands of New Sample women. Data on marital, work, and migration histories, education, and family background were recorded. The MF24 form, Senior Life History, was administered to selected persons aged 50 or more and contained questions on marriages, children living elsewhere, literacy, work experience, migration history, health, and family background. The MF25 form, Household Economy, collected data on household economy from all households interviewed in this wave. Forms MF26 and MF27 were used to generate community-level data subfiles for this collection. Part 97 (MF26DIST--District-Level Data) contains one record for each of the 78 districts of Peninsular Malaysia. This file provides information (most of which pertains to 1988, but some of which dates back to 1970) on health services (e.g., number of hospitals, health centers, and doctors), family planning services (e.g., number of family planning clinics, contraceptive use), birth, death, and fertility rates, number of primary and secondary schools, ethnic distributions, and industrial and occupational distributions. Part 98 (MF26EB--Community-Level Data) contains one record for each of the 398 Enumeration Blocks selected for MFLS-2 and the 52 Primary Sampling Units used in MFLS-1. This file gives the current status of family planning services, general health services, schools, water and sanitation, housing costs, agriculture, transportation, population, urban/rural status, and government programs. Part 99 (MF27COMM--Community-Level Data) offers data for the same units as Part 98 and contains similar information, along with retrospective data on family planning services, health services, schools, and water treatment. Merged files (Parts 106-112) that contain one record per respondent were created by ICPSR using the variables CASE SPLIT PERSON for MF22, MF23, MF24, and MF25 on the New and Senior samples and the Panel and Children samples.

DaVanzo, Julie, and Haaga, John. Second Malaysian Family Life Survey: 1988 Interviews. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-11-04.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (WD-5639-1-NICHD/NIA)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging


1988-08 -- 1989-01

(1) The codebook, data collection instruments, and other documentation are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. (2) Questions regarding variables in the merged files (Parts 106-112) should be directed to the data producer at

Four samples were drawn for this study: Panel, Children, New, and Senior. (1) Those eligible for the Panel Sample were 1,262 women who were the primary respondents in the First Malaysian Family Life Survey in 1976. At that time, all had been married and were aged 50 or younger. In the second wave, 889 of these Panel respondents completed the Female Life History Questionnaire, a follow-up rate of 72 percent of those eligible. The husbands of these respondents were also interviewed if living in the household. (2) The Children Sample consisted of children of the women eligible for the study aged 18 or older. There were interviews with one child, selected at random, living elsewhere in Peninsular Malaysia. (3) The New Sample consisted of women aged 18-49 (regardless of marital status) or ever-married women under age 18. (4) The Senior Sample consisted of 1,357 persons aged 50 or older.

(1) All married women aged 50 or younger living in Peninsular Malaysia, (2) all children aged 18 or older living in Peninsular Malaysia, (3) all women under age 18 ever married and women between 18 and 49 living in Peninsular Malaysia, (4) all persons aged 50 and older living in Peninsular Malaysia.

personal interviews

survey data, and event/transaction data



2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

1999-11-02 Merged files (Parts 106-112) that contain one record per respondent were created by ICPSR using the variables CASE SPLIT PERSON for MF22, MF23, MF24, and MF25 on the New and Senior samples (Parts 106-109) and the Panel and Children samples.

1999-04-12 Part 56 (Panel and Children: MFLS-2 Tracking Record), Part 53 (New and Senior: MF25INC--Household Economy: Income-Producing Activities), and Part 94 (Panel and Children: MF25INC--Household Economy: Income-Producing Activities) and their corresponding SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been replaced due to additional cleaning of the data by the principal investigator.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

NACDA logo

This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).