Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Child Psychiatry & Human Development




College of Humanities and Fine Arts


Parenting by lying is a phenomenon in which parents lie to their children, usually for a positive goal, and has been the subject of new parenting research. This study tested the associations between parenting by lying in childhood, lying to parents in young adulthood, and parent–child relationship quality. Secondly, we examined the mechanisms through which these constructs were all related to internalizing behaviors in young adulthood, specifically—stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Young adult participants between the ages of 18 and 24 (N = 206) responded to questions about parenting strategies experienced in childhood, their current adult functioning, lying to parents, and parent–child relationship quality. Results indicate that parenting by lying in childhood was significantly associated with lower quality relationships with parents during young adulthood. Additionally, we found that double mediation models (lying to parents and quality of parent–child relationships) were best fitting the data in explaining the exploratory mechanisms (indirect pathways) through which parenting by lying was associated with internalizing behaviors (stress responses, anxiety, and depressive symptoms) in young adulthood. Based on all the findings, a review of parenting by lying in childhood as a common parenting strategy, and further research is highly encouraged. Other implications are discussed.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of a peer-reviewed article published by Springer in Child Psychiatry & Human Development, available at

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