Doré R. LaForett is a senior research scientist in the early child development area at Child Trends. Her work spans the areas of early care and education programs; the contexts that influence children’s academic and social emotional development; educational, social-behavioral, and family-focused interventions; and normative child development and education experiences of young children and families.
Dr. LaForett has extensive experience conducting research with low-income populations as well as culturally and linguistically diverse children and families, with an emphasis on children who are dual language learners. She is currently leading a study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences examining associations between language of instruction and K-3rd grade students’ academic outcomes in Spanish-English dual language educational settings. Dr. LaForett has previously served as a co-investigator on a randomized control trial study of an evidence-based program for early elementary students on self-regulation and educational outcomes. She was a principal investigator on an intervention study targeting mothers of infants and toddlers who were enrolled in Early Intervention services and experiencing depression symptoms. Finally, Dr. LaForett has worked on numerous state-funded contracts to conduct program evaluation studies related to early care and education settings and systems.
Prior to joining Child Trends in 2019, Dr. LaForett conducted research at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for over 10 years. As a licensed psychologist, her clinical experience working with children, families, and teachers to support children’s social and behavioral health includes over 10 years of experience as an early childhood mental health consultant in Head Start classrooms. Dr. LaForett serves as an appointed member of the North Carolina Early Childhood Advisory Council and is the Secretary of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Latino Caucus. Through her research, clinical work, and service to the field and broader community, Dr. LaForett is committed to advancing the well-being of children and families though scientific knowledge that is ecologically valid, developmentally focused, and aligned with a racial equity approach.