Warr, Mark (2007). The tangled web: Delinquency, deception, and parental attachment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
vol. 36 (5) pp. 607-622
Delinquent youth display weaker attachment to their parents than do other youth, but the reasons for this remain unclear. One explanation is that delinquent youth poison their relations with parents by lying to them about their friends, behavior, whereabouts, and more. Analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health reveals that lying to parents is an exceptionally strong and robust correlate of delinquent behavior, and is associated with a variety of surreptitious behaviors – late bedtimes, hanging with friends, concealing whereabouts. Lying to parents appears to have a progressively negative impact on the parent-child bond, meaning that the well-established attachment/delinquency association is not solely a parent effect. Youth who lie to their parents do not appear to do so blithely, however. Compared to other youth, they hold themselves in lower regard and are more often depressed. Although parents are often angered by and distrustful of deceitful children, their children's fabrications may say less about their regard for their parents than about the strength of other loyalties.
Crime & delinquency
Journal of Youth and Adolescence