Swimming between the flags: A preliminary exploration of the influences on Australians’ intentions to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches
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Swimming at patrolled beaches reduces the likelihood of drownings and near-drownings. The present study tested the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), with the addition of risk perceptions, in predicting people's intentions to swim between the flags at patrolled beaches. We examined also the predictors of people's willingness to swim  up to 10 m and  more than 10 m outside of the patrol flags. Participants (N = 526) completed measures of attitudes, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control (PBC), intentions/willingness, and both objective and subjective risk perceptions. Two weeks later, a sub-sample of participants reported on their beach swimming behaviour for the previous fortnight. Attitude and subjective norm predicted intentions to swim between and willingness to swim outside of the flags. Age and PBC influenced willingness to swim beyond the flags. Objective risk predicted willingness to swim beyond the flags (both distances) while subjective risk predicted willingness to swim up to 10 m outside the flags. People's intentions to swim between the flags were correlated with their behaviour at follow-up. This study provides a preliminary investigation into an important safety behaviour and identifies factors to target when promoting safe swimming behaviours to prevent drowning deaths on Australian beaches.
Accident Analysis & Prevention
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology