Perceptions of Dishonesty: Understanding Parents’ Reports of and Influence on Children and Adolescents’ Lie-Telling
- 36 Downloads
Previous studies suggest parents lack knowledge regarding child and adolescent lie-telling; however, no study to date has examined children’s and parents’ reports of lying within parent–child dyads. The current study examined parents’ knowledge of and influence on children’s and adolescents’ lie-telling. Parent–child dyads (N= 351) completed self-report surveys. Children (8–14 years, 52.3% children female) reported on prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Parents (Mage = 41.68, 89.5% parents female) reported on their child’s lie-telling, as well as their own honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonest behaviors. Parents’ reports were unrelated to children’s and adolescents’ reports of prosocial and antisocial lie-telling. Additionally, parents’ honesty-targeted parenting strategies and modeling of dishonesty did not predict children’s lie-telling. Parents’ behaviors predicted their reports of children’s lie-telling, suggesting parents’ behaviors bias their reports. Parents’ biased perception of adolescents lie-telling may have negative implications for parent–child relationships.
KeywordsProsocial lie-telling Antisocial lie-telling Lie-telling Parenting Modeling
The authors would also like to thank the research assistants who assisted with data collection, as well as the parents and children for their participation in the study.
V.W.D. conceived of the research question, performed the statistical analyses, and helped to draft the manuscript; T.W. conceived of the study design and coordination and provided input on drafts of the manuscript; A.D.E. conceived of the lie-telling study design, developed the questions and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Teena Willoughby acknowledges funding from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Angela D. Evans acknowledges funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Data Sharing and Declaration
This manuscript’s data will not be deposited.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee Brock University Research Ethics Board (reference number: 16-080) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individuals prior to participating.
- Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Gervais, J., Tremblay, R. E., Desmarais-Gervais, L., & Vitaro, F. (2000). Children’s persistent lying, gender differences, and disruptive behaviors: a longitudinal perspective. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24, 213–221. https://doi.org/10.1080/016502500383340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grice, H. P. (1980). Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Jensen, L. A., Arnett, J. J., Feldman, S. S., & Cauffman, E. (2004). The right to do wrong: lying among adolescents and emerging adults. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 33, 101–112. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOYO.0000013422.48100.5a.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lakoff, R. (1973). “The logic of politeness: Or minding your P’s and Q’s” In Papers from the 9th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (pp. 292–305). Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.Google Scholar
- Lee, K., & Ross, H. J. (1997). The concept of lying in adolescents and young adults: testing Sweetser’s folkloristic model. Merill-Palmer Quarterly, 43, 255–270.Google Scholar
- Smetana, J. G., Villalobos, M., Tasopoulos-Chan, M., Gettman, D. C., & Campione-Barr, N. (2009). Early and middle adolescents’ disclosure to parents about activities in different domains. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 693–713. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.06.010.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar