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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of swimming performance to six factors including, swimming self-efficacy, fear of drowning, perceived swimming risk, previous swimming opportunities, body image, and perceived athletic skills among high school Hispanic/Latino males and females, ages 13-18. This research also compared differences for each of the variables based on gender. Participants in the study included 71 females and 73 males, ages 13-18, all of Hispanic/Latino ethnic background from one high school. Swimming performance was measured by a Swimming Self-Efficacy Scale. Perceived swimming risk was determined by The Perception of Drowning Risk Survey. Body image, previous swimming opportunities, fear of drowning, and perceived athletic skill were assessed through additional survey questions. Analysis of variance determined if there were significant differences in the means of the seven tests based on gender. Males demonstrated significantly higher means for each variable. Relationships between swimming performance and the other variables were calculated sing Pearson Product Moment Correlations. Swimming self-efficacy and swimming performance had the strongest positive correlation (+ 0.75). There was a moderate negative correlation between fear of drowning and swimming self-efficacy (-0.54). Early multilevel swimming programs for all children are strongly encouraged to help children overcome fear of the water, increase swimming efficacy, swimming performance, and ultimately, to increase the percentage of adult who can swim.

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