KiVa™ Antibullying Program

Categories

Categories associated with best practice:

  • PP-icon1
  • Children (ages 6-12) icon
  • Teens (ages 13-18) icon
  • Elementary School Icon 1
  • Healthy child development
  • Mental Health Icon 2
  • Secondary School Icon 1
  • Social environments
  • Social Relationships That Respect Diversity
  • Social Support Networks

Overview

KiVa™ is an evidence-based program to prevent bullying and to tackle the cases of bullying effectively. KiVa includes both universal and indicated actions. The universal actions, such as the KiVa curriculum (student lessons and online games), are directed at all students and focus mainly on preventing bullying. The indicated actions are to be used when a bullying case has emerged. They are targeted specifically to the children and adolescents who have been involved in bullying as perpetrators or victims, as well as to several classmates who are challenged to support the victim; the aim is to put an end to bullying.

KiVa has three units. Unit 1 is designed for children of 6–9 years of age. Unit 2 is suitable for children of 10–12 years of age. Unit 3 is meant to be used after the middle school/lower secondary school transition. Currently, Unit 3 is only available in Finland.

The effects of a Finnish national school-based anti-bullying program (KiVa) were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial (2007–2009) and during nationwide implementation (since 2009). The KiVa program has been found to reduce bullying and victimization and increase empathy towards victimized peers and self-efficacy to support and defend them. KiVa increases school liking and motivation and one study found that the program resulted in reductions in anxiety, depression, and negative peer perceptions. One study also found that the KiVa intervention influenced teachers’ self-evaluated competence to tackle bullying. Somewhat larger reductions in bullying and victimization were found in the randomized controlled trial than in the broad rollout, and the largest effects were obtained in primary school (grades 1–6).

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