OUR Research

Modeling Initial Participation of Diverse Communities in Competitive Swimming

International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, September 2018

Abstract: These research notes introduce the Initial Participation Model, which theorizes continued participation in a activity or group before individuals make commitment is a function of: enjoyment, feeling of inclusion, and/or involvement opportunities. The specific focus of this research is investigating how deficiency 

in enjoyment, feeling of inclusion, and involvement opportunities may discourage continuing participation in competitive swimming by underrepresented populations such as African American, Black, Hispanic, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander and low-socioeconomic communities. Details explain how initial participation differs from other sport stages by emphasizing participation; relating to program instead of sport; and resetting each time an individual joins a new activity or group. Two examples are offered illustrating how the model may be used for identifying points of intervention that stimulate continued initial participation. Also included are specific factors constructing the model and future testing plans for validation.