KiVa is a research-based antibullying program that has been developed in the University of Turku, Finland, with funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The effectiveness of KiVa has been shown in a large randomized controlled trial. In Finland, KiVa is a sought-after program: 90 % of all comprehensive schools in the country are registered KiVa schools implementing the program.
The KiVa program involves both universal and indicated actions to prevent bullying and to tackle cases of bullying coming to attention.
The universal actions are targeted at all students in a school. They refer to efforts made to influence the group norms and to build capacity in all children to behave in constructive ways, to take responsibility for not encouraging bullying, and to support the victims.
Experience-based learning during KiVa student lessons.
The indicated actions take place when bullying has come to the attention of school personnel. Each particular case is handled in a series of individual and group discussions between the school’s KiVa team and the students involved. Several prosocial peers of the victim are challenged to provide support for the victimized classmate.
KiVa is not meant to be a one-year project, but a permanent part of the school’s antibullying work.
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, 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 program won the European Crime Prevention Award in 2009.
1 Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Poskiparta, E., Kaljonen, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). A large-scale evaluation of the KiVa anti-bullying program; Grades 4-6. Child Development, 82, 311-330.
Appendix on missing values
2 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.
3 Salmivalli, C., Garandeau, C., & Veenstra, R. (2012). KiVa Anti-Bullying Program: Implications for School Adjustment. To be published in G. Ladd & A. Ryan (Eds.), Peer Relationships and Adjustment at School. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.(In press).
4 Williford, A., Noland, B., Little, T., Kärnä, A., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Effects of the KiVa anti-bullying program on adolescents’ perception of peers, depression, and anxiety. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
5 Garandeau, Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (under review). Tackling acute cases of bullying: Comparison of two methods in the context of the KiVa antibullying program.
6 Kärnä, A., Voeten, M., Little, T., Alanen, E., Poskiparta, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2011). Going to Scale: A nonrandomized nationwide trial of the KiVa antibullying program for comprehensive schools. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
1) an exceptionally large variety of concrete materials for students, teachers as well as parents,
2) utilizing the Internet and virtual learning environments, such as a computer game against bullying, and
3) emphasis on the bystanders, in order to make them show that they are against bullying and support the victim, ratwher than encourage the bully.
KiVa® antibullying program was developed at the University of Turku, Finland, with funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The Ministry holds the copyright of the KiVa® program. The University of Turku has the access rights, and the right to distribute licenses to third parties. For the rights of use the University of Turku must be consulted separately. Several language versions are available.