The legacy of fear: is fear impacting fatal and non-fatal drowning of African American children?

J Black Stud. 2011;42(4):561-76. doi: 10.1177/0021934710385549.


African American children’s rates for fatal and non-fatal drowning events are alarmingly elevated, with some age groups having three times the rate as compared to White peers. Adequate swimming skills are considered a protective agent toward the prevention of drowning, but marginalized youth report limited swimming ability. This research examined minority children’s and parents/caregivers’ fear of drowning as a possible variable associated with limited swimming ability. Results confirmed that there were significant racial differences concerning the fear of drowning, and adolescent African American females were notably more likely to fear drowning while swimming than any other group. The “fear of drowning” responses by parents/ caregivers of minority children were also significantly different from their White counterparts.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Aptitude
  • Black or African American* / education
  • Black or African American* / ethnology
  • Black or African American* / history
  • Black or African American* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Black or African American* / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Welfare* / economics
  • Child Welfare* / ethnology
  • Child Welfare* / history
  • Child Welfare* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Welfare* / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning* / ethnology
  • Drowning* / history
  • Fear* / physiology
  • Fear* / psychology
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Near Drowning* / history
  • Psychology, Child / education
  • Psychology, Child / history
  • Swimming / education
  • Swimming / history
  • Swimming / physiology
  • Swimming / psychology
  • United States / ethnology