Self-Estimates of Swimming and Rescue Competence, and the Perceptions of the Risk of Drowning among Minority Groups in New Zealand – Life Saving or Life Threatening?
Teresa STANLEY, Kevin Moran

Analysis of drowning and rescue statistics suggests that some population groups (such as males, youth, and minority groups) are at greater risk than others. This study reports on the perceived water competency of minority groups, and its potential to mitigate the risk of drowning when swimming in open water. Of the 194 Maori and Pasifika adults that took part in the study, most (91%) believed they could swim, and over two-thirds (70%) considered their competence to be good/very good, although most (72%) estimated they could swim 25m or less. Most participants reported undesirable attitudes which could account for the over-representation of these minority groups in drowning statistics. Significant gender differences were evident for all risk perceptions.This study suggests that males from disadvantaged lower SES minority groups may be at greater risk of drowning because of their lack of competency and their tendency to overestimate this, with regard to swimming and rescue competence in open water environments.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v7n1a10