Anti-bullying programs 2.0: Tailored interventions to minimize bullying


Bullying is a common phenomenon that exacts a staggering cost in human suffering. Anti-bullying interventions can be effective, as shown by KiVa findings from randomized-controlled trials in Finland and the Netherlands. The percentage of Dutch children who said they were being bullied dropped by 53% in KiVa schools versus 35% in control schools. Unfortunately, 13.5% of the children (about 3 per classroom) at KiVa schools were still bullied (monthly or more)? which emphasizes that additional interventions should be developed.

As an expert in bullying and victimization, I am highly motivated to take a new step and tackle a difficult problem: developing strategies for bullying cases that have so far been resistant to interventions. To achieve this, I will use a combined theoretical and empirical approach to investigate why bullying persists in some school classes, and design and test novel interventions based on the concept that bullying may be reduced if: (1) goal-related and social network processes are better understood and utilized for interventions; (2) bullies can be taught to adopt prosocial strategies to achieve non-aggressive status goals; (3) schools are helped with the peer support intervention for victims; (4) teachers are given the skills and means to become more capable in taking an active stance against bullying.

I will develop, implement, and evaluate these tailored interventions using my existing network of KiVa schools as a living laboratory. I expect that this will deliver new insights into the group processes of bullying and create the possibility to minimize bullying.

The project will contribute to the emerging literature of school-based social network interventions, and will convert scientific knowledge into practice and vice versa. Through providing an understanding of the mechanisms of intervention success, the project will make a unique contribution to the design of the next generation of anti-bullying programs.


Hoofdstuk in boek

  • D. A. Kreager, J. K. Dijkstra, R. Veenstra(2018): Handbook of peer interactions, relationships, and groups pp. 45 - 63 , New York

Wetenschappelijk artikel





Prof. dr. D.R. Veenstra PhD

Verbonden aan

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


D.A.E. van Aalst MSc, Drs. S.M. Berends, T.M.L. Kaufman MSc, Dr. G.M.A. Lodder MSc, Dr. G.M.A. Lodder MSc, E. Marucci, B. Oldenburg MSc, B. Oldenburg MSc, B. Oldenburg MSc, Prof. dr. D.R. Veenstra PhD


01/09/2015 tot 31/08/2020