Twelve-year follow-up of respondents and their children in a panel survey in Peninsular Malaysia

by John Haaga, Julie DaVanzo, Christine E. Peterson, Tey Nai Peng

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Panel data on the same individuals interviewed at two (or more) points in time permit many types of analyses, for example, of changes over time or whether expectations are realized, that are not possible with cross-sectional data. For its "Panel" sample, The Second Malaysian Family Life Survey (MFLS-2), conducted in Peninsular Malaysia in 1988, attempted to find and re-interview the 1,262 ever-married women who had been respondents to the original Malaysian Family Life Survey (MFLS-1), which was fielded in 1976. Seventy-two percent of the women presumed to be eligible for the MFLS-2 Panel sample were successfully re-interviewed in MFLS-2. MFLS-2 also attempted to interview the adult children (aged 18 or older) of these women. This paper reports on the field methods used to track the panel members and their adult children, documents follow-up rates and the selectivity of attrition, and discusses the degree to which these results may generalize to other such attempts at re-contacting survey respondents.

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