KiVa Antibullying Program
Blueprints Program Rating: Promising
An anti-bullying program for grades 2-6 with 20 hours of student lessons. Primarily implemented in Europe, the program aims to improve mental health outcomes in addition to reducing bullying.
- Violent Victimization
- Bullying Prevention
- School - Environmental Strategies
- School - Individual Strategies
Continuum of Intervention
- Universal Prevention (Entire Population)
- Indicated Prevention (Early Symptoms of Problem)
- Late Childhood (5-11) - K/Elementary
- Male and Female
- All Race/Ethnicity
- : Promising
- : Promising
- : Promising
Program Information ContactChristina Salmivalli
Department of Psychology
University of Turku
20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
- Christina Salmivalli
- University of Turku
Brief Description of the Program
KiVa includes both universal actions to prevent the occurrence of bullying and indicated actions to intervene in individual bullying cases. The program has three different developmentally appropriate versions for Grades 1–3 (Unit 1), 4–6 (Unit 2), and 7–9 (Unit 3). Blueprints has certified the evaluation evidence for grades 2-6 only, as there was no consistent pattern of results in grades 8-9 with more non-significant findings than significant findings and bystander behavior was in the wrong direction.
Indicated actions. In each school, a team of three teachers (or other school personnel), along with the classroom teacher, addresses each case of bullying that is witnessed or revealed. Cases are handled through a set of individual and small group discussions with the victims and with the bullies, and systematic follow-up meetings. In addition, the classroom teacher meets with two to four prosocial and high-status classmates, encouraging them to support the victimized child.
Universal actions. The KiVa program includes 20 hours of student lessons (10 double lessons) given by classroom teachers during a school year. The central aims of the lessons are to: (a) raise awareness of the role that the group plays in maintaining bullying, (b) increase empathy toward victims, and (c) promote children’s strategies of supporting the victim and thus their self-efficacy to do so. The lessons involve discussion, group work, role-play exercises, and short films about bullying. As the lessons proceed, class rules based on the central themes of the lessons are successively adopted one at a time.
See: Full Description
Karna, Voeten, Little, Poskiparta, Kaljonen, & Salmivalli (2011), Williford et al. (2012a), Salmivalli et al., (2011), Williford et al. (2013)
At Wave 2 (seven months after pretest):
- Intervention students had a lower level of peer-reported victimization than control students, although self-reports did not echo this finding.
- No significant differences for self- or peer-reported bullying.
- Compared to students in control schools, students in intervention schools defended the victims more and they had more antibullying attitudes and empathy toward victims.
At Wave 3 (one year after pretest, nine months of intervention):
- Seven of 11 criterion variables showed significantly greater improvement in the intervention than the control schools, including self- and peer-reported victimization and self-reported bullying.
- Intervention school students less often assisted and reinforced the bully, and they had higher self-efficacy for defending and well-being at school.
- The program influenced positive perception of peers and reduced anxiety (Williford et al., 2012).
- Control school students were 1.32 to 1.94 times as likely to be bullied as students in the intervention schools (Salmivalli et al., 2011).
- Control school students were 1.29 times as likely to have experienced cybervictimization as students in the intervention schools (Williford et al. 2014).
- Control school students were 1.34 times as likely to have engaged in cyberbullying as students in the intervention schools (Williford et al. 2014).
Karna, Voeten, Little, Poskiparta, Alanen, & Salmivalli (2011)
- KiVa reduced rates of bullying by 14%, when compared to the control group.
- KiVa reduced rates of victimization by 15%, when compared to the control group.
- Intervention effects were stronger at lower grades (1 - 4) than upper grades (6 - 9).
Karna et al. (2012)
For grades 2-3, the KiVa program
- reduced self-reported bullying.
- reduced self-reported victimization among girls but only in classrooms with a higher proportion of boys.
For grades 8-9, the KiVa program
- showed no benefits for self-reported bullying or victimization.
- reduced some measures of peer-reported outcomes, usually for subgroups of students.
Yang & Salmivalli (2015)
At posttest, compared to control schools, greater reductions were found among students in intervention schools in:
- the risk of being bully-victims, bullies or victims as per both self-report and peer-report.
Nocentini & Menesini (2016)
At posttest, compared to control schools, participants in intervention schools showed significant improvements in self-reported:
- attitudes toward bullying, victimization, and empathy for victims
No gender differences found in outcomes.
Risk and Protective Factors
- Individual: Bullies others*, Favorable attitudes towards antisocial behavior*
- School: Low school commitment and attachment*
- Individual: Clear standards for behavior*, Problem solving skills, Prosocial behavior*, Refusal skills, Skills for social interaction*
- School: Opportunities for prosocial involvement in education, Rewards for prosocial involvement in school
*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program.
Training and Technical Assistance
KiVa is a European program and has not been assessed by Blueprints for dissemination readiness in the United States.
Certified KiVa trainers provide pre-implementation training for end users (school staff) over two days (6-7 hours per day). The first day primarily covers the nature and mechanisms of bullying (especially the view of bullying as a group process) and the universal actions included in the KiVa program. The second day covers the indicated actions of the KiVa program, i.e. tackling the cases of bullying coming to the attention of school staff. The training includes lectures, pair and group discussions, learning-by-doing exercises and demonstrations of how cases of bullying are tackled.
Training Certification Process
To become a certified KiVa trainer, a person attends a four-day training for trainers organized in Finland. Certified trainers update their training every second year in a one-day workshop. The training of trainers includes information and exercises about 1) bullying, 2) universal and indicated actions included in the KiVa program, 3) managing and supporting the implementation of KiVa, and 4)visiting a school that has been implementing KiVa for several years.
Brief Evaluation Methodology
Karna, Voeten, Little, Poskiparta, Kaljonen, & Salmivalli (2011), Salmivalli et al. (2011), Williford et al. (2012a), Juvonen et al. (2016): The study randomly assigned 78 schools to intervention (39 schools, 4,207 students) and control conditions (39 schools, 4,030 students). Data collection took place three times: in May 2007, December 2007 or January 2008, and May 2008 (the end of the first year of the intervention). Assessments included measures such as self-reported bullying and victimization, participation in bullying situations, antibullying attitudes, perceptions of peers, anxiety and depression. Salmivalli et al. (2011) investigated the success of the KiVa program in reducing nine different forms of being bullied but used only the pre-test (May 2007) and post-test (May 2008) data.
Karna, Voeten, Little, Poskiparta, Alanen, & Salmivalli (2011): This evaluation is based on a quasi-experimental, cohort-longitudinal design. For this evaluation, posttest data from students in each grade cohort were compared to pretest data from same-age students within the same school (the previous cohort) who had not yet been exposed to the intervention. For example, data from first graders in May 2010 (after they had been exposed to KiVa for 1 year) were compared with data from students who were first graders in May 2009 and who were not yet exposed to the intervention program.
Karna et al. (2012): The study examined 147 schools and surveyed students in grades 2-3 and 8-9. The sampled schools were either randomized to intervention and control conditions or added to the intervention after having been in the control condition of an earlier study (Karna, Voeten Little, Poskiparta, Kaljonen, & Salmivalli, 2011). Data collection took place three times: in May 2008 (pretest), December 2008-February 2009 (midway through the program), and May 2009 (the end of the first year of the intervention). Assessments included measures of self-reported bullying and victimization and reports on bullying and victimization of peers.
Yang & Salmivali (2015): A total of 23,520 students in 195 Finnish schools between the ages of 8 and 15 years from 738 intervention classrooms and 647 control classrooms participated in the study. Randomization was conducted at the school level. Data were gathered at baseline and posttest, approximately 12 months later.
Nocentini & Menesini (2016): A total of 2,042 students enrolled in grades 4 and 6 at 13 Italian schools participated in the study. Randomization was conducted at the school level. Data were gathered at baseline and posttest, approximately 9 months later, from 94% of the sample (n=1,910).
Juvonen, J., Schacter, H., Sainio, M., & Salmivalli, C. (2016). Can a School-Wide Bullying Prevention Program Improve the Plight of Victims? Evidence for Risk x Intervention Effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 334-344.
Karna, 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.
Karna, 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.
Karna, 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. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0030417.
Nocentini, A., & Menesini, E. (2016). KiVa anti-bullying program in Italy: Evidence of effectiveness in a randomized control trial. Preventative Science, 17, 1012-1023.
Salmivalli, C., Karna, 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.
Williford, A., Boulton, A., Noland, B., Little, T. D., Karna, A. & Salmivalli, C. (2012a). Effects of the KiVa anti-bullying program on adolescents' depression, anxiety and perception of peers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 289-300.
Williford, A., Boulton, A., Noland, B., Little, T. D., Karna, A. & Salmivalli, C. (2012b). Erratum to: Effects of the KiVa anti-bullying program on adolescents' depression, anxiety and perception of peers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40, 301-302.
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 Child & Adolescent Psychology, 42(6), 820-833.
Yang, A. & Salmivalli, C. (2015). Effectiveness of the KiVa antibullying programme on bully-victims, bullies and victims. Educational Research, 57(1), 80-90.