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Validity evidence for the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Water Competence short form (PSPWC-4)
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-20, 22:59 authored by Lisa BarnettLisa Barnett, Gavin AbbottGavin Abbott, Natalie LanderNatalie Lander, B Jidovtseff, Nicky RidgersNicky Ridgers
Promoting swimming and water safety is an important public health issue. The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Water Competence (PSPWC) requires children to indicate their perceived competence using three difficulty levels for 17 swimming scenarios. The aim was to purposefully select four critical scenarios of the PSPWC to create the PSPWC-short form and test for associations with actual swim competence. Four of 17 scenarios were selected and extended to a four-point response scale by adding an extra difficulty level. Parents whose children had participated in at least 1-week swim-intensive programme in 2021 were invited to participate in the study, and perceptions of 139 children (mean age 6.9 years, SD = 1.9) were matched with certificate data of actual swim competence pre- (n = 139) and post-programme (n = 29). Moderate positive correlations were found between swim level at programme start and perception of: retrieving an object in deep water (rho = 0.57), swimming on front (rho = 0.60), swimming on back (rho = 0.69), treading water (rho = 0.63) and the summed score of all four (rho = 0.71). After adjusting for sex and age, higher perceived skill was still significantly associated with increasing achieved skill levels. The PSPWC-short form appears to provide a valid measure to be used as a brief screening assessment.