Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Physical Education

First Advisor

Richard Hsiao, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robert Kostelnik, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

David Lorenzi, Ed.D.


Lifeguards are the front line of defense for swimmers when present. Yet in a multitude of cases, lifeguards are failing to recognize drowning victims. Many approaches have been taken to look at the cause of this phenomenon and provide suggestions to prevent such occurrences from happening again, yet no definitive answers have thus far been identified. This study looks at a number of factors that surround lifeguard on-duty behavior. Lifeguard's perception of their own behavior, lifeguard's actual observed behavior, and management's expectation of behavior were all compared to see where there are differences. Other factors including the amount of experience, participation in in-service training, and the amount of time a lifeguard spends on duty were also compared for differences in relation to accurate perception of behavior. Results show that there are some significant differences in perception of accurate behavior, actual behavior and expectations, and expectations and perceptions of behavior.