Evidence of effectiveness in Finland and elsewhere

In Finland KiVa has been evaluated in a large randomized controlled trial including 117 intervention schools and 117 control schools. The program has been shown to reduce both self- and peer-reported bullying and victimization significantly1. It influences multiple form of victimization, including verbal, relational, physical, and cyberbullying2. In addition, positive effects on school liking, academic motivation and achievement have been reported3. KiVa also reduces anxiety and depression and has a positive impact on students' perception of their peer climate4. A remarkable 98% of victims involved in discussions with the schools' KiVa teams felt that their situation improved5. Finally, Finnish data from more than 1000 schools that started the implementation of KiVa in fall 2009 showed that after the first year of implementation, both victimization and bullying had reduced significantly6. KiVa is now being evaluated in several countries: the first international studies from the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy, and Wales are emerging, showing that KiVa is effective outside of Finland as well.

KiVa program won the European Crime Prevention Award in 2009, Social Policy Award for Best Article in 2012 and four National Awards in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Proportion of students who are systematically bullied by others or bullying others

Evidence of Effectiveness globally

KiVa is now being evaluated in several countries: the first international studies from the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy, and Wales are emerging, showing that KiVa is effective also outside of Finland.

KiVa in Italy

The first pilot study on randomized controlled trial of KiVa antibullying program has been conducted during the year 2013-2014. The sample involved 7 primary and secondary experimental schools as well as 6 primary and secondary control schools. Overall, 1,825 students (920 KiVa students; 905 control students) completed the questionnaire at the beginning and at the end of the school year: 876 students were in grade 4 and 949 were in grade 6. Results showed evidence of effectiveness for the program in relation to bullying and victimization behaviors in both primary and secondary schools: in KiVa primary schools, there was a reduction of 52% in victimization and a reduction of 55% in bullying others. In KiVa secondary schools, there was a reduction of 6% in victimization and a reduction of 40% in bullying others. Overall, results suggested that KiVa antibullying program is also effective in Italy in both primary and secondary schools. For more information on the study, contact Professor Ersilia Menesini Turn on JavaScript!.

KiVa in the Netherlands: Selected findings and the need for new interventions

In May 2014 KiVa was shortlisted as a very promising anti-bullying program by a Dutch committee, which evaluated all anti-bullying programs in the Netherlands. Initial findings from a randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands demonstrate KiVa’s effectiveness in elementary education: the percentage of children who said they were being bullied dropped from 29% to 13.5% in KiVa schools versus from 29% to 18.5% in control schools (Veenstra, 2014).

KiVa in the UK:

In the UK, between 2012-2013, seventeen schools participated in a pilot trial of KiVa Unit 2 (for children aged 9 to 11 years). Significant reductions were reported in bullying and victimisation. Teachers provided positive feedback on the content, suitability of lessons, and pupil engagement. To learn more about the results, click here. A randomized controlled trial is presently underway and results from phase 1 will be published soon.

Selected studies on the effects of the KiVa antibullying program:

1Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Poskiparta, E., Kaljonen, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). A large-scale evaluation of the KiVa antibullying program. Child Development, 82, 311-330.

2Salmivalli, C., Kärnä, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2011) Counteracting bullying in Finland: The KiVa program and its effects on different forms of being bullied. A special section edited by C. Spiel, P. Smith, and C. Salmivalli and offered for publication in International Journal for Behavioral Development, 35, 405-411.

3Salmivalli, C., Garandeau, C., & Veenstra, R. (2012). KiVa antibullying program: Implications for school adjustment. In G. Ladd & A. Ryan (Eds.), Peer Relationships and Adjustment at School (pp. 279-307). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

4Williford, A., Noland, B., Little, T., Kärnä, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Effects of the KiVa Antibullying Program on adolescents’ perception of peers, depression, and anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 289-300.

5Garandeau, C. F., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Tackling acute cases of school bullying in the KiVa anti-bullying program: A comparison of two approaches. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 981-991.

6Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Going to scale: A nonrandomized nationwide tril of the KiVa antibullying program for comprehensive schools. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 796-805.

Williford, A., Elledge, L., Boulton, A., DePaolis, K., Little, T., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Effects of the KiVa Antibullying Program on Cyberbullying and Cybervictimization Frequency among Finnish Youth. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psycholog, 42, 820-833.

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program: Grades 1-3 and 7-9. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 535-551.

Saarento, S., Boulton, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Reducing Bullying and Victimization: Student- and Classroom-Level Mechanisms of Change. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, early online.

Ahtola, A., Haataja, A., Kärnä, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). For children only? Effects of the KiVa antibullying program on teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 851-859.

Haataja, A., Boulton, A., Voeten, M., & Salmivalli, C. (in press). KiVa antibullying curriculum in primary schools: Implementation and outcome. Journal of School Psychology.

 

 

Other studies on KiVa

Doctoral dissertations

Ahtola: A. (2012) Proactive and preventive student welfare activities in Finnish preschool and elementary school : handling of transition to formal schooling and a national anti-bullying program as examples. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-5157-4                      

Garandeau, C. (2014) School bullies' quest for power : implications for group dynamics and intervention. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-5727-9

Haataja, A. (2016) Implementing the KiVa antibullying problem : what does it take? Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-6553-3

Kärnä, A. (2012) Effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-5025-6

Pöyhönen, V. (2013) Defending behavior in bullying situations. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-5157-4

Roos, S. (2014) Guilt, shame, emotion regulation, and social cognition: understanding their associations with preadolescents' social behavior. Turku: University of Turku http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-5891-7 

Saarento, S. (2015) Conceptualizing and counteracting the bullying dynamic : classroom and school contexts matter. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-6150-4 

Sainio, M. (2013) Same- and other-sex victimization : risk factors, consequences, and protection by peers. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-5502-2  

Yang, A. (2015) Bully-victims : prevalence, psychosocial adjustment, and responsiveness to intervention. Turku: University of Turku. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-6241-9  

 

 Empirical studies on the effectiveness and implementation of the KiVa program in Finland

Ahtola, A., Haataja, A., Kärnä, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). For children only? Effects of the KiVa antibullying program on teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(6), 851–859. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2012.03.006

Ahtola, A., Haataja, A., Kärnä, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Implementation of anti-bullying lessons in primary classrooms: how important is head teacher support? Educational Research, 55(4), 376–392. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2013.844941

Garandeau, C. F., Lee, I. A., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Differential effects of the KiVa anti-bullying program on popular and unpopular bullies. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 35(1), 44–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2013.10.004

Garandeau, C. F., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Tackling acute cases of school bullying in the KiVa anti-bullying program: A comparison of two approaches. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42(6), 981–991. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-014-9861-1

Garandeau, C. F., Vartio, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2016). School bullies’ intention to change behavior following teacher interventions: Effects of empathy arousal, condemning of bullying, and blaming of the perpetrator. Prevention Science, 17(8), 1034–1043. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-016-0712-x

Haataja, A., Voeten, M., Boulton, A. J., Ahtola, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). The KiVa antibullying curriculum and outcome: Does fidelity matter? Journal of School Psychology, 52(5), 479–493. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2014.07.001

Haataja, A., Ahtola, A., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). A process view on implementing an antibullying curriculum: How teachers differ and what explains the variation. School Psychology Quarterly, 30(4), 564–576. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/spq0000121

Juvonen, J., Schacter, H. L., Sainio, M., & Salmivalli, C. (2016). Can a school-wide bullying prevention program improve the plight of victims? Evidence for risk × intervention effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84(4), 334–344. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000078

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T. D., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program: Grades 1–3 and 7–9. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2), 535–551. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030417

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T. D., Poskiparta, E., Alanen, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Going to scale: A nonrandomized nationwide trial of the KiVa antibullying program for grades 1–9. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(6), 796–805. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029174

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T. D., Poskiparta, E., Kaljonen, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). A Large-Scale Evaluation of the KiVa Antibullying Program: Grades 4-6. Child Development, 82(1), 311–330. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01557.x

Poskiparta, E., Kaukiainen, A., Pöyhönen, V., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Anti-bullying computer game as part of the KiVa-program: Children’s perceptions of the game. In A. Costabile & B. Spears (Eds.), The impact of technology on relationships in educational settings: International perspectives (pp. 158–168). New York, NY: Routledge.

Salmivalli, C., Garandeau, C. F., & Veenstra, R. (2012). KiVa anti-bullying program: Implications for school adjustment. In A. M. Ryan & G. W. Ladd (Eds.), Peer relationships and adjustment at School. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.

Salmivalli, C., Kärnä, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2011). Counteracting bullying in Finland: The KiVa program and its effects on different forms of being bullied. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(5), 405–411. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025411407457

Salmivalli, C., Kärnä, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2010b). From peer putdowns to peer support: A theoretical model and how it translated into a national anti-bullying program. In S. R. Jimerson, S. M. Swearer, & D. L. Espelage (Eds.), Handbook of bullying in schools: An international perspective (pp. 441–454). New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Veenstra, R., Lindenberg, S., Huitsing, G., Sainio, M., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). The role of teachers in bullying: The relation between antibullying attitudes, efficacy, and efforts to reduce bullying. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(4), 1135–1143. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036110

Williford, A., Boulton, A., Noland, B., Little, T. D., Kärnä, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Effects of the KiVa Anti-bullying Program on Adolescents’ Depression, Anxiety, and Perception of Peers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(2), 289–300. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-011-9551-1

Williford, A., Elledge, L. C., Boulton, A. J., DePaolis, K. J., Little, T. D., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Effects of the KiVa Antibullying Program on Cyberbullying and Cybervictimization Frequency Among Finnish Youth. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(6), 820–833. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2013.787623

 

Other empirical studies on the Finnish KiVa school data (divided into themes)

Cyberbullying

Christian Elledge, L., Williford, A., Boulton, A., DePaolis, K., Little, T., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Individual and Contextual Predictors of Cyberbullying: The Influence of Children’s Provictim Attitudes and Teachers’ Ability to Intervene. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 42(5), 698–710. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-013-9920-x

Salmivalli, C., Sainio, M., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2013). Electronic victimization: Correlates, antecedents, and consequences among elementary and middle school students. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(4), 442–453. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2012.759228

 

Class and school level factors, social networks and bullying

Garandeau, C., Lee, I., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Inequality Matters: Classroom Status Hierarchy and Adolescents’ Bullying. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 43(7), 1123–1133. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-013-0040-4

Huitsing, G., van Duijn, M. A. J., Snijders, T. A. B., Wang, P., Sainio, M., Salmivalli, C., & Veenstra, R. (2012). Univariate and multivariate models of positive and negative networks: Liking, disliking, and bully–victim relationships. Social Networks, 34(4), 645–657. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2012.08.001

Huitsing, G., Veenstra, R., Sainio, M., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). “It must be me” or “It could be them?”: The impact of the social network position of bullies and victims on victims’ adjustment. Social Networks, 34(4), 379–386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2010.07.002

Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2010). Vulnerable Children in Varying Classroom Contexts: Bystanders’ Behaviors Moderate the Effects of Risk Factors on Victimization. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 56(3), 261–282. https://doi.org/10.1353/mpq.0.0052

Peets, K., Pöyhönen, V., Juvonen, J., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). Classroom norms of bullying alter the degree to which children defend in response to their affective empathy and power. Developmental Psychology, 51(7), 913–920. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0039287

Saarento, S., Boulton, A. J., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). Reducing bullying and victimization: Student- and classroom-level mechanisms of change. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(1), 61–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9841-x

Saarento, S., Kärnä, A., Hodges, E. V. E., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Student-, classroom-, and school-level risk factors for victimization. Journal of School Psychology, 51(3), 421–434. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2013.02.002

Salmivalli, C., Voeten, M., & Poskiparta, E. (2011). Bystanders Matter: Associations between reinforcing, defending, and the frequency of bullying behavior in Ccassrooms. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 40(5), 668–676. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2011.597090

Sentse, M., Kiuru, N., Veenstra, R., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). A Social Network Approach to the Interplay Between Adolescents’ Bullying and Likeability over Time. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 43(9), 1409–1420. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0129-4

Sentse, M., Kretschmer, T., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). The longitudinal interplay between bullying, victimization, and social status: Age-related and gender differences. Social Development, 24(3), 659–677. https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12115

Sentse, M., Veenstra, R., Kiuru, N., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). A longitudinal multilevel study of individual characteristics and classroom norms in explaining bullying behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 43(5), 943–955. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-014-9949-7

 

Bullies-bullied students

Yang, A., Li, X., & Salmivalli, C. (2016). Maladjustment of bully-victims: validation with three identification methods. Educational Psychology, 36(8), 1390–1407. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2015.1015492

Yang, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Different forms of bullying and victimization: Bully-victims versus bullies and victims. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10(6), 723–738. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2013.793596

 

Defending the bullied student

Pöyhönen, V., Juvonen, J., & Salmivalli, C. (2010). What Does It Take to Stand Up for the Victim of Bullying?: The Interplay Between Personal and Social Factors. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 56(2), 143–163.

Pöyhönen, V., Juvonen, J., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Standing Up for the Victim, Siding with the Bully or Standing by? Bystander Responses in Bullying Situations. Social Development, 21(4), 722–741. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9507.2012.00662.x

Sainio, M., Veenstra, R., Huitsing, G., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Victims and their defenders: A dyadic approach. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(2), 144–151. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025410378068

 

 Gender and bullying

Sainio, M., Veenstra, R., Huitsing, G., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Same- and other-sex victimization: Are the risk factors similar? Aggressive Behavior, 38(6), 442–455. https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21445

Sainio, M., Veenstra, R., Little, T. D., Kärnä, A., Rönkkö, M., & Salmivalli, C. (2013). Being bullied by same- versus other-sex peers: Does it matter for adolescent victims? Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(4), 454–466. https://doi.org/DOI:10.1080/15374416.2013.769172

 

 Immigrants and bullying

Strohmeier, D., Kärnä, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Intrapersonal and interpersonal risk factors for peer victimization in immigrant youth in Finland. Developmental Psychology, 47(1), 248–258. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020785

 

 Selected publications on the KiVa antibullying program

Caravita, S. C. S., Pöyhönen, V., & Salmivalli, C. (2009). Prosocial involvement in antisocial situations: Defending the victims of bullying. In T. A. Kinney & M. Pörhölä (Eds.), Anti- and pro-social communication: Theories, methods, and applications (pp. 173–182). New York: Peter Lang.

Saarento, S., Garandeau, C. F., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). Classroom- and school-level contributions to bullying and victimization: A review. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 25(3), 204–218. https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2207

Saarento, S., & Salmivalli, C. (2015). The role of classroom peer ecology and bystanders’ responses in bullying. Child Development Perspectives, 9(4), 201–205. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12140

Sainio, M., Salmivalli, C., & Toda, Y. (2013). キヴァ [ KiVa Program]. In K. Yamasaki, Y. Toda, & Y. Watanabe (Eds.), 世界の学校予防教育 [Prevention education at schools in the world] (pp. 168–181). Tokyo: 金子書房 [ Kanekoshobo].

Salmivalli, C. (2009). Bullying is a group phenomenon − what does It mean and why does It matter? In S. Hymel, S. M. Swearer, & P. Gillette (Eds.), Bullying at School and Online, a special invited issue of education.com. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/peer-social-group-role-in-bullying/

Salmivalli, C. (2010). Bullying and the peer group: A review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15(2), 112–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2009.08.007

Salmivalli, C. (2014a). KiVa - against bullying. Psychologist, 27(4), 52–53. https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-27/edition-4/interview-kiva-against-bullying

Salmivalli, C. (2014b). Participant Roles in Bullying: How Can Peer Bystanders Be Utilized in Interventions? Theory Into Practice, 53(4), 286–292. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2014.947222

Salmivalli, C., Kärnä, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2010). KiVa - A Finnish innovation to tackle bullying in schools. In K. Österman (Ed.), Direct and Indirect Aggression (pp. 171–183). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Salmivalli, C., Kärnä, A., & Poskiparta, E. (2010). Development, evaluation, and diffusion of KiVa, a national anti-bullying program. In B. Doll, Handbook of youth prevention science. Lawrence Erlbaum.

Salmivalli, C., & Peets, K. (2009). Bullies, victims, and bully-victim relationships in middle childhood and early adolescence. In K. H. Rubin, W. M. Bukowski, & B. Laursen (Eds.), Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups (pp. 322–340). New York, NY: Guilford.

Salmivalli, C., & Peets, K. (2010). Violencia entre iguales: un fenómeno grupal [Peer-to-peer bullying at school: considering the contexts in which it occurs]. In R. Ortega (Ed.), Agresividad injustificada y violencia escolar [Injustified Aggressiveness and School Violence]. Alianza publications.

Salmivalli, C., Peets, K., & Hodges, E. V. E. (2010). Bullying. In P. K. Smith & C. H. Hart (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Social Development (pp. 510–528). Wiley-Blackwell.

Salmivalli, C., & Poskiparta, E. (2011). KiVa Anti-Mobbing Programm. In Huber, A.A. (Hrsg.). Anti-Mobbing-Strategien für die Schule. Praxisratgeber zur erfolgreichen und nachhaltigen Intervention. [Anti-Mobbing-Strategies for school. Practice guidebook for successful and lasting interventions]. Neuwied: Carl Link.Wolters.KluwerVerlag.

Salmivalli, C., & Poskiparta, E. (2012). KiVa antibullying program: Overview of evaluation studies based on a randomized controlled trial and national rollout in Finland. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 6(2), 294 – 302.

Salmivalli, C., Poskiparta, E., Ahtola, A., & Haataja, A. (2013). The implementation and effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying program in Finland. European Psychologist, 18(2), 79–88. https://doi.org/10.1027/1016-9040/a000140

Salmivalli, C., & Pöyhönen, V. (2012). Cyberbullying in Finland. In Q. L. MSc, D. Cross, & P. K. S. BSc (Eds.), Cyberbullying in the Global Playground (pp. 57–72). Wiley-Blackwell.

Smith, P., Salmivalli, C., & Cowie, H. (2012). Effectiveness of school-based programs to reduce bullying: a commentary. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 8(4), 433–441. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-012-9142-3

Spiel, C., Salmivalli, C., & Smith, P. K. (2011). Translational research: National strategies for violence prevention in school. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35(5), 381–382. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025411407556