Goodness-of-fit is the match between the child’s temperament and the demands of the environment in which he/she is being raised.  When a caregiver doesn’t appreciate and accommodate for a child’s temperament there can be a poor fit.  For example, if you’re trying to force an active child to stay calm, it won’t go well.  Easy infants will tend to have a good fit in most environments because they can easily adjust and they don’t require a lot of attention.  If there is a good fit children are more likely to reach their full potential (Culpepper, 2008; Feldman, 2014).  Here’s a question…

Can a difficult infant have a good fit with a caregiver?  Yes, if the caregiver is easy-going and calm and can adjust the activities to meet the needs of the infant, and doesn’t take the infant’s behavior personally, then they can have a good fit.  If all that crying and not sleeping is driving the caregiver crazy it may not be a good fit (Feldman, 2014).  


Culpepper, S. (2008). The temperament trap: Recognizing and accommodating children’s personalities. Retrieved from

Feldman, R. S. (2014). Child development: A topical approach. Boston, MA: Pearson.