Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 515
Goodness of fit

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka, India

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Date of Web Publication18-Jan-2018

How to cite this article:
Sravanti L. Goodness of fit. Indian J Psychiatry 2017;59:515

How to cite this URL:
Sravanti L. Goodness of fit. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Oct 21];59:515. Available from:

New York Longitudinal Study done by Chess et al. is one of the landmark studies in the field of child and adolescent mental health. It laid emphasis on unique dispositions of infants and led to conceptualization of the construct of “temperament.”[1] They described what is known as “goodness of fit,” a framework that helps in the assessment of a child in a given environmental context. The interactions between child and environment were formulated within this framework. Transactions between child and parents influenced each other's behavior bidirectionally.[2],[3]

Goodness of fit is at the heart of infant–caregiver attachment and various factors such as cultural values influence it.[4] When environmental opportunities and demands are in tune with the individual's capacities, it leads to optimal development in a progressive direction. Conversely, when there is a mismatch, it leads to maladaptive functioning.[3]

Every child is unique, and environment shapes a child's developing personality. Since parents constitute the immediate environment of a child, they play an important role in regulating child's behavior and providing supportive care when it is warranted. Like the fit of a lock and its key must be right for the combination to function, the fit of individual temperament and environment must be right for healthy outcomes. When parents are sensitive to a child's temperament, especially in the early childhood, long-term favorable consequences are bound to ensue. In the painting [Figure 1], this is depicted by a family functioning as a unit, where the parents are by the side of a child aiding him/her in his/her attempt to open the door to forever happiness.
Figure 1: Goodness of fit

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Chess S, Thomas A, Rutter M, Birch HG. Interaction of temperament and environment in the production of behavioral disturbances in children. Am J Psychiatry 1963;120:142-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
McClowry SG, Rodriguez ET, Koslowitz R. Temperament-based intervention: Re-examining goodness of fit. Eur J Dev Sci 2008;2:120-35.  Back to cited text no. 2
Chess S, Thomas A. Goodness of Fit: Clinical Applications for Infancy through Adult Life. Philadelphia: Bruner/Mazel; 1999.  Back to cited text no. 3
Berk LE. Emotional development. In: Child Development. 9th ed. Noida: Pearson India Education Services; 2017. p. 426-7.  Back to cited text no. 4

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lakshmi Sravanti
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_423_17

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  [Figure 1]