Testing the concept of goodness of fit in early intervention
While the conceptual and clinical utility of the goodness of fit concept has been documented extensively, the number of specific empirical tests of the concept has been limited. In this study, the concept was applied in the conceptualization and analysis of early intervention efforts. The major question examined was the extent to which the goodness of fit of child, maternal, and support variables discriminated good and poor adaptation of the mother as measured by the quality and appropriateness of care giving involvement with her handicapped child. Findings indicated that an index of maternal and child characteristics and measures of maternal locus of control, child temperament, and social support collectively contributed to the correct classification of 77% of mothers in high vs. low involvement groups. Locus of control and the maternal/child index accounted for 25% of the variance in caregiver involvement. The findings illustrate the applicability of the goodness of fit concept and provide support for efforts focused on maximizing the fit of the child, family, and variables in early intervention.