First Malaysian Family Life Survey, 1976-1977 (ICPSR 6170)

Version Date: Dec 23, 1998 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
William Butz; Julie DaVanzo


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The First Malaysian Family Life Survey, 1976-1977 (MFLS-1), was conducted in Peninsular Malaysia as a retrospective life history survey of 1,262 households containing an ever-married woman aged 50 or younger. Full life histories were collected through personal interviews with these women and their husbands regarding fertility-related events, marriage, employment, migration, income and wealth, attitudes and expectations with respect to family size and composition, community characteristics, time allocation, and transfers of goods, help, and money between the respondents and others. The survey collected data in three separate rounds held at four-month intervals. The majority of the survey was administered in Round 1, while the second and third rounds collected data on new questions not asked in Round 1 and also updated some of the Round 1 data, most notably the work and pregnancy histories. In October 1981, the individual-level dataset (Part 142) was created, consisting of one fixed-length record per individual per household. Variables included at both the individual and household levels provide information on demographics, time allocation, and income and wealth. Due to processing constraints, most of the retrospective data have been omitted from the individual-level dataset.

Butz, William, and DaVanzo, Julie. First Malaysian Family Life Survey, 1976-1977. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998-12-23.

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United States Agency for International Development (PHA-1057)
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

  1. (1) This data collection was created by the principal investigators to replace their hierarchical version, which is not distributed by ICPSR. This multifile version also contains four files not included in the hierarchical version: Parts 93 and 94, Female and Male Recall Test Data, and Parts 92 and 141, Infant Feeding/Amenorrhea Update Data. In addition, Part 136, Round 3: MF10MIG1--Male Migration Card 1, Part 137, Round 3: Repunched MF10 Data, and Part 138, Round 3: MF10REV--Revised MF10 Data, contain updated data not in the hierarchical version. (2) This data collection can be combined with SECOND MALAYSIAN FAMILY LIFE SURVEY: 1988 INTERVIEWS (ICPSR 9805) to provide a retrospective history of the respondents from the 1940s to 1988. (3) At the request of the principal investigators, it should be noted that variables V1416R3, V1417R3, V1418R3, and V1419R3 in Part 142, Individual-Level Data, are not reliable and should be ignored.


The sample consisted of 1,262 households in 52 areas in Peninsular Malaysia containing an ever-married woman (one who had been married at least once) aged 50 or younger. Forty-nine of the areas were selected by area probability methods and three were purposively selected to give additional representation to Indian families and to families living in fishing communities.

Ever-married women aged 50 or younger and their current spouses living in Peninsular Malaysia.

personal interviews



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Butz, William, and Julie DaVanzo. First Malaysian Family Life Survey, 1976-1977. ICPSR06170-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998.

1998-12-23 The data have been reformatted by ICPSR and the parts have been reordered. Also, value labels were added to the SAS and SPSS data definition statements, and the documentation has been converted to PDF.



  • 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.

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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).