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Implementing and evaluating the KiVa bullying prevention program in Delaware schools

Grant number: 13/16614-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2014
Effective date (End): May 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal researcher:Zilda Aparecida Pereira Del Prette
Grantee:Lígia Barboza Moreira
Supervisor abroad: Julie A. Hubbard
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Delaware (UD), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:13/01966-6 - Social skills of the teacher and the social behavior of the student, BP.IC


Children and adolescents who are bullied avoid attending school, perform poorly academically, and suffer from depression and anxiety. As concern about the public health implications of bullying have risen, school districts have responded with bullying prevention programming, often following state legislative mandates. However, most of the programs used are not backed by evidence demonstrating their effectiveness. Over the past year, Dr. Julie Hubbard from the Department of Psychology at the University of Delaware has worked to introduce the KiVa Bullying Prevention Program to schools in the Red Clay Consolidated School District in Delaware. The KiVa Program was developed in Finland, and it is backed by stronger research to date than any other bullying prevention program, suggesting that it consistently and effectively reduces bullying and its negative correlates among Finnish students. However, the Delaware trial is the first introduction of the KiVa Program in the US, and so its effectiveness has not yet been established among American students. For this reason, Dr. Hubbard is currently conducting a rigorous evaluation of the efficacy of the program in Delaware schools. The universal goal of the program is to increase children's empathy toward victims, self-efficacy to defend victims, and anti-bullying attitudes. This goal is accomplished primarily through a series of group lessons taught by the classroom teacher, who will be trained, and by a computer-based virtual learning environment that the children use both at school and home. At the beginning and end of the school year, data will be collected in 4th and 5th grades in 6 schools that participated of the program as well as in 6 control schools (schools which continue their usual bullying prevention programming, but do not implement the KiVa program). Data will be collected in self-, teacher-, and peer-report formats. On a quarterly basis, a summary of progress on and results from the project will be prepare for the Delaware Bar Foundation. If effects are promising, Dr. Hubbard plans to seek funding to disseminate the program throughout the State of Delaware, with the eventual goal of nationwide dissemination. (AU)

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