Title of Abstract

Religious Asynchrony Predicts Parent-Child Deception

Poster Number

19

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

We examined levels of deception and religious synchrony between adult children and their parents. We hypothesized that children who were religiously similar to their parents would be less deceptive with their parents during adolescence and adulthood. Participants were 143 adults with a mean age of 40.53 (SD=15.80). The majority were women (77%), Caucasian (92%), and heterosexual (84%). We provided common topics and had participants indicate how frequently they lied to their parents about each topic during high school. We then asked participants how frequently they currently lied about the same topics. Next, participants responded to scales to assess their religious beliefs and their parents’ religious beliefs. Our hypothesis was partially supported. Religious differences with parents were associated with more deception during the teen years but not the adult years. The change from adolescence to adulthood likely reflects a decreased need for deception with increased independence. Being non-heterosexual was associated with increased overall deception, perhaps reflecting a desire for sexual privacy or need to hide sexual orientation in order to avoid judgment. Age was related to increased deception during adolescence. Older participants may have had to hide more from parents who held more rigid expectations than today’s parents, or older participants may have misremembered the more distant past. Gender emerged as more influential in predicting types of deception than did race. Specifically, women hid their sexual behavior more than men, which might suggest the continued existence of gender-based sexual expectations.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Religious Asynchrony Predicts Parent-Child Deception

We examined levels of deception and religious synchrony between adult children and their parents. We hypothesized that children who were religiously similar to their parents would be less deceptive with their parents during adolescence and adulthood. Participants were 143 adults with a mean age of 40.53 (SD=15.80). The majority were women (77%), Caucasian (92%), and heterosexual (84%). We provided common topics and had participants indicate how frequently they lied to their parents about each topic during high school. We then asked participants how frequently they currently lied about the same topics. Next, participants responded to scales to assess their religious beliefs and their parents’ religious beliefs. Our hypothesis was partially supported. Religious differences with parents were associated with more deception during the teen years but not the adult years. The change from adolescence to adulthood likely reflects a decreased need for deception with increased independence. Being non-heterosexual was associated with increased overall deception, perhaps reflecting a desire for sexual privacy or need to hide sexual orientation in order to avoid judgment. Age was related to increased deception during adolescence. Older participants may have had to hide more from parents who held more rigid expectations than today’s parents, or older participants may have misremembered the more distant past. Gender emerged as more influential in predicting types of deception than did race. Specifically, women hid their sexual behavior more than men, which might suggest the continued existence of gender-based sexual expectations.