A Social Marketing Intervention to Prevent Drowning Among Inner-City Youth

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Glassman, Tavis
Castor, Tom
Karmakar, Monita
Blavos, Alexis
Dagenhard, Paige
Domigan, Julianne
Sweeney, Erin
Diehr, Aaron
Kucharewski, Ruthie
Glassman, T. J., Castor, T., Karmakar, M., Blavos, A., Dagenhard, P., Domigan, J., Sweeney, E., Diehr, A., & Kucharewski, R. (2018). A Social Marketing Intervention to Prevent Drowning Among Inner-City Youth. Health Promotion Practice, 19(2), 175–183. https://doi-org.proxy-um.researchport.umd.edu/10.1177/1524839917732559
Water-related injuries and fatalities pose serious public health issues, especially to African American youth, a demographic group that drowns at disproportionately high rates. Aim. The purpose of this study was to determine if a social marketing intervention targeting the parents and guardians of inner-city youth (U.S. Midwest) could positively influence their perceptions concerning water safety. Method. Researchers employed a quasi-experimental design using matched pairs to evaluate the intervention. Participants consisted of parents who enrolled their children in a six-session survival-swimming course. Guided by the Health Belief Model, the researchers disseminated six prevention messages using six different channels (brochure, e-mail, SMS text message, postcard, Facebook, and window cling). Results. The findings from a two-way analysis of covariance revealed that treatment group participants’ knowledge and perceptions of water-related threat all changed favorably. Additionally, all participants planned to reenroll their children in swim lessons. Discussion. A social marketing campaign using the Health Belief Model improved inner-city parents’ knowledge regarding water safety and enhanced their self-efficacy. Conclusion. This study provides practitioners with feasible strategies (prevention messages) to supplement swim lessons, with the ultimate goal of preventing drowning among at-risk youth.