Professor Christina Salmivalli Wins Finnish Science Award

​The Finnish Science Award is
granted every second year to a Finland-based researcher or research group in recognition of significant scientific achievement. This year’s award is €100,000.

Professor Salmivalli’s most central research topics in the field of pedagogical and developmental psychology include the (negative) dynamics of young people’s development, school bullying in particular, and factors explaining them. Internationally, she is a highly recognised and cited researcher.

Salmivalli was appointed Professor of Psychology at the University of Turku in 2004. She has also worked as a Professor at the University of Stavanger and as an Associate Professor at the University of Edith Cowan in Western Australia.

Christina Salmivalli has developed several antibullying interventions that take into account different kinds of mechanisms leading to bullying and ways to prevent them  or intervene in them. The KiVa antibullying program developed by Professor Salmivalli aims to help children experiencing bullying at school. The KiVa program is applicable even outside Finland, and it is already in use in several other countries (including Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

The award justification states that Salmivalli’s work represents high-quality research that has significant social impact.

School bullying is a topical issue in Finland year after year: bullying affects greatly the wellbeing of children and young people, their risk of social exclusion and their school days and learning results. The traditional view is that bullying is perpetrated by students against other students or by teachers against students.

However, the increased use of videos and social media has created new and sometimes more difficult forms of bullying. Furthermore, immigration and needs for integration challenge the ways schools in Finland and elsewhere operate at the moment.

In addition of acting as one of the directors of the KiVa antibullying program, she is currently leading a joint project of the Academy of Finland and CONICYT, a Chilean government agency (2016–2018), and the Opintokamut project which aims to promote students’ wellbeing in upper secondary education in 2014–2018.

Salmivalli was granted the Government Award for Public Information in 2004. She received the Humanist of the Year Award from the University of Turku in 2008 and the Psychologist of the Year Award in 2009. Her most important international recognitions are the European Award for Crime Prevention 2009, the Child Act of the Year 2010 and the Peace Education Award 2011.

The Finnish Science Award was established in 1987, and this was the eleventh time the award ceremony was held during the Science Forum on 6 June.

TK/MR
Photo: Hanna Oksanen

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Published date 6/6/2017 2:10 PM ,  Modified date 6/6/2017 2:14 PM

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