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Background Information
Most individuals have experienced the lying habit during their teenage stage. 82% of
teens admit lying to their parents annually. The biggest problem with lying is what individuals
can do about the issue. The majority of individuals agree that trust and honesty are essential
characters in every personal relationship. Despite the vast literature on lying and deceptive
communication, little research has sought to answer why teenagers lie. Instead, most literature
takes a study on the prevalence of lies, assuming that the reasons for lying are common. Most
researches on deception have used experiments methodology strategies. Past researchers have
found that all individuals are honest; the only difference is lack of motive. More than 60% of
teenagers lie in a ten-minute interval, and lies are more frequent to teenagers who want to make a
positive impression.
Statement of the Problem
The teen behavior of lying is confounding, with almost all the teens accepting they value
honesty; many reports lie to their parents about significant issues. Social scientists still believe
that respondents under-report their undesirable behavior during interviews. The question that
remains for most parents is why their teen children lie to them even when they have set them free
with everything.
Statement of the Purpose
Teens aspire to be better like another person, but they have numerous reasons for lying.
Teenagers have secretive reasons for lying to their parents. The study will identify some of the
reasons teenagers lie on most occasions. The research will reveal events where teens agreed with
their parents but still lied.
Literature Review
Most teenagers lie to hide their secretive associations with their friends (Dykstra, 2019).
Teenagers protect the associations they have with their friends by simply telling lies. Teenagers
find lies as the only way they can maintain harmony with their parents while still having external
associations. Teenagers use lying to obtain autonomy from their parents (Levine et al., 2013).
Adolescents want to be seen as influential by people around them when at the same time, they
feel powerless. Teenagers have the tendency to test the credulity with their friends and parents,
which is part of moral growth and learning. The adolescent life stage is a critical stage for
teenagers, whereby they discover the world and gain their perspectives about the world.
Teenagers find lying as a way to avoid disappointing their parents (Talwar & Lee, 2011).
Teenagers believe that lying is the best strategy to solve their problems. Teenagers view
lies as the best decision to win over unfair restrictions at the time. Teenagers use the lie as a
strategy to get out of trouble (Martins & Carvalho, 2013). Adolescents know that lying is
morally wrong, unlike children who lack moral knowledge (Xu et al., 2011). Teenagers tell lies
for a reason, like getting out of treble with their parents or covering someone they know. The
teenagers would rather lie than getting into trouble for their actions.
References
Dykstra, V. (2019). Lying to parents and friends: A longitudinal investigation of the relation
between lying, relationship quality, and depression in late-childhood and early
adolescence (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from
https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/14399/Brock_Dykstra_Victoria_201
9.pdf?sequence=1
Levine, T. R., Serota, K. B., Carey, F., & Messer, D. (2013). Teenagers lie a lot: A further
investigation into the prevalence of lying. Communication Research Reports, 30(3), 211220. https://doi:10.1080/08824096.2013.806254
Martins, M., & Carvalho, C. (2013). Lie and deception in adolescence: A study with Portuguese
students. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 82, 649-656.
https://doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.324
Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2011). A punitive environment fosters children’s dishonesty: A natural
experiment. Child Development, 82(6), 1751-1758. https://doi:10.1111/j.14678624.2011.01663.x
Xu, F., Bao, X., Fu, G., Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2010). Lying and truth-telling in children: From
concept to action. Child Development, 81(2), 581-596. https://doi:10.1111/j.14678624.2009.01417.x
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
1
Annotated Bibliography
February 24, 2021
Annotated Bibliography
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
2
Dykstra, V. (2019). Lying to parents and friends: A longitudinal investigation of the relation
between lying, relationship quality, and depression in late-childhood and early
adolescence (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from
https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/14399/Brock_Dykstra_Victoria_
2019.pdf?sequence=1
The article explains that lying increases from childhood to adolescence. Lying
behavior among adolescents has adverse effects on the quality of their relationship
with parents. During childhood, parents share a strong bond with their child, but it
starts reducing when they enter adolescence because the teenager begins to form
other social associations. Teenagers find freedom, which results in inconsistencies in
their behavior. Secret-keeping and lying are some of the strategy’s adolescents start
using to manage parental monitoring and awareness. Though they form other close
associations outside the family, they recognize the importance of maintaining
harmony with parents, even when using lies. The effect is that it leads to poor
relationships with parents and other close relationships because it violates honesty.
According to the article, dishonesty in relationships is related to lower
responsiveness, less trust, more poor communication, and even termination of
relationships. Dykstra also mentions that controlling parenting styles is an
influencing factor to children developing dishonesty.
Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2011). Verbal deception from late childhood to middle adolescence
and its relation to executive functioning skills. Developmental Psychology, 47(4),
1108-1116. https://doi:10.1037/a0023425
Evans & Lee describe lying as a typical normative behavior highly prevalent in early
stages of life; childhood to adolescence more than in adulthood. They undertook a
study to understand the change in deceptive behavior of persons from late childhood
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
3
to adolescence. The study sample comprised of 8–16-year-olds, and were asked to sit
for a test. They were left with the answers and instructed not to peek at them. The
reason for this study was finding out who among them would lie about peeking at the
answer, with the prediction that lying with reduce with age and to study the
sophistication of their lying behavior. The study results were consistent with other
previous findings. They study results were that adolescents have advanced moral
knowledge compared to the moral knowledge of the younger children. The
researchers also concluded inhibitory control skills influence lying behavior.
According to the article, situational factors, such as perception about punishment,
influence lying behavior.
Levine, T. R., Serota, K. B., Carey, F., & Messer, D. (2013). Teenagers lie a lot: A further
investigation into the prevalence of lying. Communication Research Reports, 30(3),
211-220. https://doi:10.1080/08824096.2013.806254
According to the authors, the prevalence of lying over an individual’s lifespan tends
to decline with age. The younger people lie more than their older counterparts. The
article describes lying behavior among teens as merely an issue of moral
development. Since morality development comes with age, then it is expected for
younger people to lie more. The authors describe that lying serves as a means for
adolescents to establish autonomy from parents. Levine et al. carried out a study to
prove the increasing prevalence of lying among the adolescent population. The study
participants were high school students of ages between 14-17 years. After analysis of
the data collected, the results were a confirmation of previous studies that adults are
less likely to lie than adolescents. Levine et al. research found that only about 95
percent confessed to telling a lie, and the majority told 1-3 lies in a day. Previous
research has shown that adults tell 1.5 lies per day.
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
4
Martins, M., & Carvalho, C. (2013). Lie and deception in adolescence: A study with
Portuguese students. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 82, 649-656.
https://doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.324
Martins & Carvalho express that lying is part of the daily life of a teenager. It is an
acquired cultural phenomenon, and adolescents learn it through social interactions
with the most significant figures in their lives. Adolescence is a critical stage of life
when a teenager starts developing a new perspective of their world, endorses and
argues their ideals. The authors’ study examines the meaning of lies to teenagers
depending on their gender and age. The study sample comprised 60 girls and 52 boys
between the ages of 14.6-17.8 years. The results of this study showed that significant
differences in the perceptions about lying between boys and girls. Teenage boys lie
more than teenage girls because boys assume that lying is necessary to profit from it,
whereas girls think it is wrong to lie. The study revealed that boys lie because of fear
of punishment if they tell the truth, and girls lie to avoid disappointing their parents.
Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2011). A punitive environment fosters children’s dishonesty: A
natural experiment. Child Development, 82(6), 1751-1758.
https://doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01663.x
According to the authors, deception is an adaptive cover strategy that the weak and
the young use because other strategies are not available. It is not surprising that
young humans would use this strategy to minimize negative consequences and gain
an advantage. The authors engaged in a study to examine how a punitive and nonpunitive environment affects lying behavior. According to the article, the study
confirms that a punitive environment fosters dishonesty in children, and they also
develop the ability to hide their transgressions. The child might not leave these
delinquent behaviors even in their adolescent years. The authoritarian parenting
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
5
styles, characterized by verbal and physical punishment, have lasting effects on an
individual. Even when they are teenagers, they will still believe deception is the best
strategy to deal with unfair restrictions. If a teenager grows up in a punitive home or
school, their ability to lie improves social learning. They quickly learn that lying can
conceal a transgression and protect them from punishment.
Xu, F., Bao, X., Fu, G., Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2010). Lying and truth-telling in children:
From concept to action. Child Development, 81(2), 581-596.
https://doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01417.x
According to Xu et al., lies fall under two categories. The first one is lies that violate
benefits the person telling a lie at the expense of others. These kind of lies violate
moral rules. It is the type of lie that parents, teachers, and other caregivers try to
discourage from an early age. The other type is prosocial. Studies have found that the
lies that are told to help another person are not always considered a lie, especially for
people between the ages of 4-9 years. However, teenagers and older adults view
prosocial lies negatively. The authors express that children have a common moral
understanding than teenagers and adults. So, when an adolescent or an adult tells a
lie even to help someone, they know what they are doing is morally wrong. Although
adolescents know that lying is morally wrong, they face several situations where they
have to give polite responses. In such cases, they end up having to lie other than tell
the truth.
References
ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
6
Dykstra, V. (2019). Lying to parents and friends: A longitudinal investigation of the relation
between lying, relationship quality, and depression in late-childhood and early
adolescence (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from
https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/14399/Brock_Dykstra_Victoria_
2019.pdf?sequence=1
Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2011). Verbal deception from late childhood to middle adolescence
and its relation to executive functioning skills. Developmental Psychology, 47(4),
1108-1116. https://doi:10.1037/a0023425
Levine, T. R., Serota, K. B., Carey, F., & Messer, D. (2013). Teenagers lie a lot: A further
investigation into the prevalence of lying. Communication Research Reports, 30(3),
211-220. https://doi:10.1080/08824096.2013.806254
Martins, M., & Carvalho, C. (2013). Lie and deception in adolescence: A study with
Portuguese students. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 82, 649-656.
https://doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.324
Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2011). A punitive environment fosters children’s dishonesty: A
natural experiment. Child Development, 82(6), 1751-1758.
https://doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01663.x
Xu, F., Bao, X., Fu, G., Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2010). Lying and truth-telling in children:
From concept to action. Child Development, 81(2), 581-596.
https://doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01417.x

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