Christina Salmiwall

Professor of psychology at the University of Turku

She has done research on bullying and its evidence-based prevention for > 25 years. Professor Salmivalli led the development of the KiVa antibullying program (www.kivaprogram.net), which has been awarded both nationally and internationally, and is widely implemented in schools in Finland and beyond. Salmivalli has published extensively on the topics of children’s peer relations and school bullying. Her current research interests include the effectiveness of different approaches to tackle bullying, the sustainability of the implementation and effects of prevention programs, and the mechanisms of program effects.

Bullying through the lenses of morality and peer group dynamics

In her presentation Salmivalli present and discuss theoretical approaches and empirical findings on the driving forces behind bullying, focusing on moral emotions and cognitions within the individual (including moral disengagement) on one hand, and on the peer contextual factors that support or diminish the likelihood of bullying on the other. Of interest is how both influence the prevalence of bullying as well as the adjustment of the victimized students, and how both need to be addressed in prevention and intervention work. They also address what has come to be known as the “healthy context paradox”, which refers to the phenomenon that victimized students in social contexts in which the overall level of bullying goes down seem to be especially maladjusted – and the implications this has for educational practice.