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NCJ Number: 204597 Find in a Library
Title: Right to Do Wrong: Lying to Parents Among Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:33  Issue:2  Dated:April 2004  Pages:101-112
Author(s): Lene Arnett Jensen; Jeffrey Jensen Arnett; S. Shirley Feldman; Elizabeth Cauffman
Date Published: April 2004
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study probed the acceptability of lying to parents among adolescents and emerging adults.
Abstract: While lying is a common part of human relationships, scant psychological literature has examined the behavior of lying. Moreover, there is virtually no research that has examined lying to parents among adolescents and emerging adults. The goal of the current study was to begin to probe the developmental, individual, and family factors that may be related to lying to parents during adolescents and emerging adulthood. Five main hypotheses were tested: (1) emerging adults would be less accepting of lying to parents and would report lower frequencies of lying than their adolescent counterparts; (2) males would be more accepting of lying than females; (3) acceptance of lying would vary by motive; (4) acceptance of lying would be positively related to tolerance of deviance and negatively related to self-restraint; and (5) acceptance of lying and lying behavior would be negatively correlated with family cohesion, but positively correlated with family control. The authors presented 229 high school students and 261 college students with questionnaires that collected demographic information, rated the frequency with which participants had lied to their parents in the past year, and rated the acceptability of lying to parents in 19 different situations. Self-restraint, tolerance of deviance, and family cohesion and control were also measured. Results of statistical analyses indicated that both adolescents and emerging adults frequently lied to their parents, in part to assert their autonomy. Emerging adults reported less frequent lying and less acceptance of lying than their adolescent counterparts. Other results indicated that girls lied to parents more than boys however, boys were more accepting of lying than girls. Adolescents and emerging adults lied less and were less accepting of lying when they came from cohesive families. Future research in this area could take a variety of different directions, such as an examination of the meaning and uses of lying in relationships between parents and their children. Figures, tables, references
Main Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Deviance
Index Term(s): Parent-Child Relations; Social psychology
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