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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Examining the Relationship between Self-Efficacy and Quality of Life in Ocean Lifeguards
by Watkins, Darielle, M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 89; 13810520
Abstract (Summary)

An emergency responder or first responder is any individual who purposefully exposes themselves to dangerous and traumatic incidents in order to care for and protect the lives of others. With the high frequency, nature, and intensity of exposure to duty-related trauma and life-threatening emergency situations, first responders are considered a “high risk” occupation. One subset of this population who are often overlooked are ocean lifeguards, who not only face distressing rescue scenarios, but also have to deal with unpredictable and dynamic environmental ocean conditions. The constant exposure to demanding and hazardous situations puts lifeguard personnel at an increasingly higher risk for issues such as emotional stress, mental health problems, burnout, depression, and posttraumatic problems. Therefore, the occupational stress surrounding critical incidents may attribute to quality of life for lifeguards, affecting both positive and negative factors related to working as a first responder. Because of this, there is a strong need to protect the overall health of lifeguards to ensure these workers are prepared for the demanding and crucial role involved in effectively doing their job.

First responders and ocean lifeguards play an imperative role in public safety; however research suggests that continuous exposure to trauma and rescue incidents can negatively affect job performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the relationship of the positive coping strategy of self-efficacy on professional quality of life, while also exploring other factors of age, gender, length of service, and occupational status. Also, due to the dangerous nature of the job and the presumptions of speed and strength needed to effectively perform rescues, ocean lifeguarding is a highly male-dominated field that has established occupational gender stereotypes within the workplace. This study aimed to further explore the traumatic incidents experienced by ocean lifeguards, as well as uncover the experiences and challenges specific to female guards.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Madrigal, Leilani
Commitee: Vargas, Tiffanye, Ede, Alison
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Kinesiology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/1(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Kinesiology, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Emergency responder, Lifeguards, Mental health, Professional quality of life, Self-efficacy, Well-being
Publication Number: 13810520
ISBN: 9781085568500
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