KiVa is developed by experts who have been studying the phenomenon of bullying and its mechanisms for decades. The team is led by PhD, Professor Christina Salmivalli and PhD, Special Researcher Elisa Poskiparta, both of University of Turku.
No other antibullying program has been studied as rigorously as KiVa, before and after the nationwide implementation. The program has been shown to reduce both self- and peer-reported bullying and victimization significantly.
Data from more than 200 Finnish schools showed that after the first year of implementation, the program reduced all forms of bullying significantly¹. In addition, positive effects on school liking, academic motivation and achievement have been reported². KiVa also reduces anxiety and has a positive impact on students’ perception of their peer climate³. From among those bullied students whose case was tackled by their school’s KiVa team, 98% felt that their situation improved⁴.
Numerous studies show that KiVa is effective outside of Finland as well. The Netherlands, Estonia, Italy and Wales are among the regions, where research has been conducted about KiVa, adding to the positive findings about the program.
Reduction in both bullying and being bullied has been reported already after the first year of implementation. The graphic illustrates the reduction rates after 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc. year of implementation in all Finnish schools using the program.
- 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, 405-411.
- Salmivalli, C., Garandeau, C., & Veenstra, R. (2012). KiVa Anti-Bullying Program: Implications for School Adjustment. In G. Ladd & A. Ryan (Eds.), Peer Relationships and Adjustment at School. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing
- Williford, A., Boulton, A., Noland, B., Kärnä, A., Little, T., & Salmivalli, C. (2012). Effects of the KiVa anti-bullying program on adolescents’ depression, anxiety, and perception of peers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 289-300.
- Garandeau, C., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2014). Tackling acute cases of bullying: Comparison of two methods in the context of the KiVa antibullying program. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 42, 981-991.
Other studies on KiVa in Finland
Independent data collected by The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare also indicates that bullying and victimization have decreased in Finland after the launch of the KiVa program.
Read more about various studies on the effectiveness of the KiVa program in English here.