Background: It is essential to account for acculturation in any research conducted in multicultural populations. Both unidimensional and bidimensional approaches are used to measure the extent of acculturation; however, neither one of them is optimal.
Objective: To explore the immigrants' rating of the extent of their acculturation (self-reported integration) in contrast to an external (researchers') measurement.
Methods: Fifteen in-depth interviews with strategically sampled Russian-speaking men and women aged 25-70 years, with varying marital and employment status and living permanently in Stockholm, Sweden, were analyzed using a content analysis technique. The results were validated by means of a series of additional mini-interviews by telephone.
Results: The immigrants' self-reported integration corresponded with the researchers' bidimensional measurement of the extent of acculturation of these immigrants. Self-reported integration accounted for the mastering of the formal criteria of integration, resolving of grief concerning the homeland, and fulfilling the internal criteria of integration.
Discussion: Self-reported integration may be used as a proxy for acculturation but its application should be tested primarily in other settings and in a quantitative analysis.