Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 981–991 | Cite as

Tackling Acute Cases of School Bullying in the KiVa Anti-Bullying Program: A Comparison of Two Approaches

  • Claire F. GarandeauEmail author
  • Elisa Poskiparta
  • Christina Salmivalli


Whether cases of bullying should be handled in a direct, condemning mode or in a manner that does not involve blaming the perpetrator is a controversial issue among school professionals. This study compares the effectiveness of a Confronting Approach where the bully is openly told that his behavior must cease immediately to a Non-Confronting Approach where the adult shares his concern about the victim with the bully and invites him to provide suggestions on what could improve the situation. We analysed 339 cases of bullying involving 314 children from grades 1 to 9 (mean age = 11.95). Cases were handled in 65 schools as part of the implementation of the KiVa anti-bullying program. In each school, a team of three teachers addressed cases coming to their attention by organizing discussions with the bullies using either a Confronting or a Non-Confronting Approach; schools were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions. Victims reported that bullying stopped in 78 % of the cases. Logistic regression analyses indicated that neither approach was overall more effective than the other, controlling for grade level, duration of victimization and type of aggression. The Confronting Approach worked better than the Non-Confronting Approach in secondary school (grades 7 to 9), but not in primary school (grades 1 to 6). The Confronting Approach was more successful than the Non-Confronting Approach in cases of short-term victimization, but not in cases of long-term victimization. The type of aggression used did not moderate the effectiveness of either approach.


Bullying Intervention Victimization Anti-bullying program 



The research reported in this manuscript was supported by funding from the Finnish National Doctoral Program of Psychology to the first author and grants 134843 and 135577 from the Academy of Finland to the third author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire F. Garandeau
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elisa Poskiparta
    • 1
    • 3
  • Christina Salmivalli
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Edith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Center for Learning Research and Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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