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The data from the Second Malaysian Family Life Survey (MFLS-2) provide a rich but complex database. This User's Guide describes the MFLS-2 data structure and presents detailed descriptions of the variety of information available, and how it can be put together. This Guide is meant to be a companion to the MFLS-2 Codebook and provides guidelines on how to build analysis files from the data. For example, the authors discuss how to identify various individuals of interest (e.g. husbands, wives, children, parents of respondents) and how to link data from different parts of a particular person's questionnaire with one another and with data from the questionnaires of related individuals. The multiple file structure of the MFLS-2 makes linking files the major task in building analysis files. This Guide also addresses issues that arise in trying to link data from the first Malaysian Family Life Survey (MFLS-1) in 1976-77 and MFLS-2, which was fielded in 1988-89. One objective of MFLS-2 was to reinterview as many as possible of the original 1,262 MFLS-1 respondents. Seventy-two percent of the original MFLS-1 respondents were successfully reinterviewed, providing not only information on what happened to them since 1976, but a full retrospective history that recovered events previously reported in MFLS-1. The long time span of information for those reinterviewed MFLS-1 respondents and the chance to examine issues of recall bias require linking of MFLS-2 responses to MFLS-1 responses for these women and their families. Information and suggestions on linking MFLS-1 and MFLS-2 data are thus also provided in this Guide.

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