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“Learning to swim is like learning Swedish”: A Grounded Theory study of immigrant swim teacher’s conceptualization of swimming ability and their strategies used for newly immigrated families

Luckhaus, Jamie Linnea LU (2019) MPHN40 20191
Social Medicine and Global Health
Abstract
Introduction: Swimming ability provides many known benefits while a lack of ability can result in dire consequences including death. Swimming and water safety are taught in the Swedish school system and increase the likelihood of being able to save oneself and other. Immigrants miss some or all these lessons – a safety concern in addition to a social and integration challenge. The Swedish Lifesaving Society implemented a project in which immigrant swim teachers were certified with the goal of teaching newly immigrated families. Understanding these teachers’ experiences revealed barriers and strategies transferable to other contexts.

Aims: The objective was to develop a model of how immigrant swim teachers conceptualize swimming ability... (More)
Introduction: Swimming ability provides many known benefits while a lack of ability can result in dire consequences including death. Swimming and water safety are taught in the Swedish school system and increase the likelihood of being able to save oneself and other. Immigrants miss some or all these lessons – a safety concern in addition to a social and integration challenge. The Swedish Lifesaving Society implemented a project in which immigrant swim teachers were certified with the goal of teaching newly immigrated families. Understanding these teachers’ experiences revealed barriers and strategies transferable to other contexts.

Aims: The objective was to develop a model of how immigrant swim teachers conceptualize swimming ability and strategies used in promoting it.

Methods: Eight open-ended in-depth interviews were conducted across Sweden. Data collection and analysis were done in parallel using a constant comparative method following Charmaz’ constructivist grounded theory.

Results: (a) Learning to swim is like learning Swedish; it entails more than a school requirement or hobby but a crucial part of the integration process and a safe society. Teaching families who migrated from countries with little water – where swimming was a personal choice or luxury – involved communicating this new understanding. (b) The swim teachers’ goals and strategies differed based on age and gender of their students, with females often facing additional barriers. The strategies encompassed gaining families’ interest as much as teaching.

Conclusions: This study adds to the slowly growing body of research confirming that population-specific water safety interventions are needed, especially in countries with high water exposure and a strong aquatic culture. Early action among immigrant parents is important for a trickle-down effect in the family. Efforts must target females, especially from nations of traditional gender norms. The study results can be used to increase understanding and in teaching and promoting swimming ability. (Less)
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author
Luckhaus, Jamie Linnea LU
supervisor
organization
course
MPHN40 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
aquatic knowledge, drowning prevention, drowning risks, immigrants, integration, intervention, health promotion, nyanlända, simlärare, swimming, swimming ability, Svenska Livräddningssällskapet, vattenkunskap, vattenvana, water safety, water safety attitudes
language
English
id
8990244
date added to LUP
2019-07-09 07:59:05
date last changed
2019-07-09 07:59:05
@misc{8990244,
  abstract     = {Introduction: Swimming ability provides many known benefits while a lack of ability can result in dire consequences including death. Swimming and water safety are taught in the Swedish school system and increase the likelihood of being able to save oneself and other. Immigrants miss some or all these lessons – a safety concern in addition to a social and integration challenge. The Swedish Lifesaving Society implemented a project in which immigrant swim teachers were certified with the goal of teaching newly immigrated families. Understanding these teachers’ experiences revealed barriers and strategies transferable to other contexts. 

Aims: The objective was to develop a model of how immigrant swim teachers conceptualize swimming ability and strategies used in promoting it. 

Methods: Eight open-ended in-depth interviews were conducted across Sweden. Data collection and analysis were done in parallel using a constant comparative method following Charmaz’ constructivist grounded theory. 

Results: (a) Learning to swim is like learning Swedish; it entails more than a school requirement or hobby but a crucial part of the integration process and a safe society. Teaching families who migrated from countries with little water – where swimming was a personal choice or luxury – involved communicating this new understanding. (b) The swim teachers’ goals and strategies differed based on age and gender of their students, with females often facing additional barriers. The strategies encompassed gaining families’ interest as much as teaching. 

Conclusions: This study adds to the slowly growing body of research confirming that population-specific water safety interventions are needed, especially in countries with high water exposure and a strong aquatic culture. Early action among immigrant parents is important for a trickle-down effect in the family. Efforts must target females, especially from nations of traditional gender norms. The study results can be used to increase understanding and in teaching and promoting swimming ability.},
  author       = {Luckhaus, Jamie Linnea},
  keyword      = {aquatic knowledge,drowning prevention,drowning risks,immigrants,integration,intervention,health promotion,nyanlända,simlärare,swimming,swimming ability,Svenska Livräddningssällskapet,vattenkunskap,vattenvana,water safety,water safety attitudes},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {“Learning to swim is like learning Swedish”: A Grounded Theory study of immigrant swim teacher’s conceptualization of swimming ability and their strategies used for newly immigrated families},
  year         = {2019},
}