Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2012 Volume 8 :: Article 5
2012 Volume 8, Article 5
Liar, Liar: Adolescent Religiosity and Lying to Parents

Author: Scott A. Desmond (Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis) and Rachel Kraus (Ball State University)

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ABSTRACT

We hypothesize that religious adolescents are less likely to lie to their parents than are their nonreligious peers because religious adolescents are more strongly attached to their parents, have a higher level of self-control, are less likely to use marijuana and alcohol, and are less likely to have substance-using friends. As expected, the results suggest that adolescents who believe that religion is important are less likely to lie to their parents. Contrary to our expectations, however, the results suggest that adolescents who attend church frequently are more likely to lie to their parents. Although parental attachment, self-control, substance use, and friendsí substance use all mediate part of the relationship between importance of religion and lying to parents, parental attachment and self-control are the most important. In contrast, the effect of church attendance on lying to parents is not mediated by parental attachment, self-control, substance use, or friendsí substance use. Supplemental analysis suggests that the effect of church attendance on lying to parents depends on the importance of religion. That is, adolescents are especially likely to lie to their parents when they attend church frequently but do not think that religion is important.

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