How do we know it actually works?

The effectiveness of the KiVa programme is scientifically proven, e.g. the Finns reduced bullying by 61%, the Dutch by 64% and the Italians by 51%. According to research by Kärnä et al. (2011), KiVa contributes to a reduction in various forms of bullying, from physical to verbal to cyberbullying.
In a randomized controlled trial (RCT), researchers implemented the KiVa program in a randomly selected half of the schools studied. Schools with the KiVa programme achieved a reduction in the incidence of bullying of about 30% over 12 months.
KiVa has also succeeded in replication studies, with other scientists independently finding the same results in other countries. They have thus verified that the conclusions about KiVa's effectiveness are not based on chance or researcher error.

Scientific validation of the effectiveness of prevention programmes is crucial because it gives us more certainty than subjective intuition. Analyses show that poorly validated methods may be ineffective, may not work at all, or may be even harmful despite good intentions.

Data sources

The evidence for the effectiveness of KiVa programme is based on the principles used in testing new methods in other sciences, for example medicine

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.

Huitsing, G., Lodder, G., Browne, W. J., Oldenburg, B., Van der Ploeg, R., & Veenstra, R. (2020). A large-scale replication of the effectiveness of the KiVa Antibullying Program: A randomized controlled trial in the Netherlands. Prevention science, 21(5), 627-638.

Nocentini, A., & Menesini, E. (2016). KiVa anti-bullying program in Italy: Evidence of effectiveness in a randomized control trial. Prevention science, 17(8), 1012-1023.

Gaffney, H., Ttofi, M. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2019). Evaluating the effectiveness of school-bullying prevention programs: An updated meta-analytical review. Aggression and violent behavior, 45, 111-133.

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.

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 (pp. 279-305). IAP Information Age Publishing

Pilot verification in the Czech Republic

The effectiveness of the program is determined using a quasi-experimental design with a delayed intervention control group. The development of both pupils and teachers is monitored and the research design includes both quantitative and qualitative tools for deeper insight into the processes and mechanisms that may play a role in reducing bullying and improving children’s mental well-being. The piloting of the KiVa programme in the Czech environment is in line with the principles of open science and the detailed pre-registration of the project can be read here: .

For the school year 2022/2023, we are inviting new schools to register for the KiVa pilot project.

Research reports

Measurements are being carried out in Czech schools as part of the pilot testing.

Available international studies can be found at

What next?

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