|Goodness of Fit:|
Clinical Applications from
Infancy through Adult Life
by Stella Chess, M.D., and Alexander Thomas, M.D.
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208 pages; soft bound
Stella Chess and Alexander Thomas’ new book illuminates one of the most significant theoretical and practical implications in professional publications on temperament today: the concept of goodness of fit. When individuals achieve accordance with the properties and expectations of their respective environments, they have attained goodness of fit, which ultimately enables their psychological growth and health. They can function on a healthy level with a potential for a positive life course.
Beginning with a clear definition and explanation of the concept of goodness of fit, the book goes on to delineate the evolution of the goodness of fit concept, its clinical applications, and the biopsychosocial elements relevant to the goodness of fit model. The authors provide insightful step-by-step commentaries on individual case histories that concern such problems. Each case is unique and intriguing, and is reviewed by the authors in a compelling manner. As is appropriate to their research, they have wisely taken into account a wide variety of environmental expectations and demands—parental and other caregivers’ child practices and goals, peer group judgments, special community values, as well as cultural and ethnic diversity. They also address possible educational rules and expectations, career stresses, sexual issues and marital conflicts.
In the past, clinical applications of the concept of goodness of fit have been restricted to a modest number of community parent guidance temperament programs and have not received their due attention. In their recent work, however, Chess and Thomas, long-standing psychiatrists with forty years of clinical experience, step outside past boundaries and explore a panoply of clinical cases, including all age-periods, ranging from infancy to adulthood. Using the clinical data obtained from numerous case histories, the authors develop an insightful clinical system from which researchers and clinicians of mental health professionals, pediatricians and educators alike can benefit.
Goodness of Fit aims to answer the question of how to create a healthy consonance between individuals and their environments in order to achieve optimal development, and will undoubtedly enhance both our understanding of psychological development and personality maturation as well as the clinical methods used to analyze them.
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