In analyzing the responses, the study’s authors noted that the adults whose parents seemed to have lied to them frequently were more likely to adopt intrusive, even manipulative, behavior.
“Authority assertion over children is a form of psychological intrusiveness, which may undermine children’s sense of autonomy and convey rejection, ultimately undermining children’s emotional well-being. Future research should examine the nature of the lies and goals of the parents so that researchers can suggest what kind of lies to avoid, and what kind of truth-telling parents should engage in,” suggested Assistant Professor Peipei Setoh of Nanyang Technical University Singapore’s School of Social Sciences, the study’s lead author.
While the theory is interesting, it is limited by the fact that the data came from participants’ self-reporting and, what’s more, was based on childhood memories.
The authors of the study also specified that it would be advisable to involve parents in future research on the subject, in order to distinguish the “inoffensive” lies from those which could detract from their children’s psychological well-being.