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Abstract

This study examined self-reported supervisory behaviours of caregivers at beaches and ascertained whether self-reported supervision reflects observed behaviour. Observations were conducted of caregiver/child pairs at 18 Australian beaches, with questionnaires subsequently completed by caregivers. Caregivers identified visual contact as essential for close supervision and proximity a key determinant in distinguishing supervision and close supervision. Supervisory behaviour was associated with child age, whilst lifeguard patrol had no effect on supervision. All supervision statements from the PSAPQ-BEACH were associated with supervision. Only three statements were significant independent predictors of supervision. Comparisons suggest caregivers’ self-reported supervisory behaviour reflects actual supervision. As this is the first study of its kind, it is essential that further prospective research using mixed-method approaches build on this information.

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