When a coherently grown (001)‐oriented layer of InAs is embedded in a GaAs host, the coherency strain induces a perpendicular distortion of the embedded layer, predicted by continuum elasticity theory to be ϵ⊥=7.3%. Brandt, Ploog, Bierwolf, and Hohenstein, [Phys. Rev. Lett. 68, 1339 (1992)] have described a high‐resolution electron microscopic analysis of such buried layers that appears to reveal a breakdown of continuum elasticity theory in the limit of monolayer films. In particular, they found for a single monolayer of InAs a lattice distortion that corresponds to ϵ⊥=12.5%. Here we report on an investigation into whether a first‐principles local‐density total energy minimization shows such an elastic anomaly in the monolayer limit. We find that it does not.