Dr. Schmitt’s research is generally centered around answering critical questions related to how children develop strong self-regulation and school readiness during the early childhood period and how to best strengthen these skills. Specifically, her research agenda is focused on two areas: 1) identifying contextual and individual predictors of the development of self-regulation and school readiness during early childhood, 2) designing and evaluating targeted interventions, curricula, and policies to enhance these skills in underserved children (e.g., those from socioeconomically disadvantaged populations). These research lines are in the service of detecting and preventing early learning problems and, ultimately, reducing socioeconomic disparities as children make their way through formal schooling.
Dr. Schmitt is also interested in training practitioners to better support children’s development of self-regulation in early childhood. For example, she is currently leading training and implementation support efforts for a new early childhood curriculum (Early Learning Matters) that is being implemented in over 500 military child development classrooms worldwide, serving hundreds of thousands of children and families.