A new study has found that nearly 60 percent of black children can’t swim—a finding that may contribute to the fact that black children have a higher rate of drowning than other children.

The researchers surveyed almost 1,800 children and found that 31 percent of white participants could not swim safely, compared with 58 percent of black children. The percentage of Hispanic children that could not swim was similar to that of black children, at 56 percent.

According to the study’s lead researcher, Professor Richard Irwin, parents’ attitudes about swimming affected the children’s ability to swim. Children whose parents could not swim, or who felt swimming was dangerous, were much less likely to know how to swim.

USA Swimming, the national governing body for competitive swimming in the United States, commissioned the study. The organization is partnering with local governments, corporations, youth and community organizations to expand swimming programs across the country.  To learn more about USA Swimming’s diversity programs, click here.