The goodness-of-fit hypothesis contends that distress results due to incongruence between choice of coping strategies and perceived ability to change stressful stimuli. Goal-directed or active coping responses are believed to be most efficacious when the individual believes s/he can change or control perceived threats (i.e., problem-focused coping). Instances in which stressors must be accepted, however, would dictate reliance upon strategies to regulate distress (i.e., emotion-focused coping). Inconsistent support for this facet of Lazarus and Folkman's cognitive phenomenological model was obtained in this study of spouses of suspected dementia patients. The distinction between emotion- and problem-focused coping appears less germane than overall coping efforts relative to perceived control and caregiver burden. In addition, perceived ability to control dementia-related stressors appears to be somewhat independent of coping by caregivers. These findings are discussed in terms of the unique and chronic demands faced by spouses of persons with dementia.