Lie to your kids and they'll grow up to be liars - study

Children lied to by their parents are more likely to become liars in their adult years, a study has found.

Research from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore found a link between lying and children meeting social and psychological challenges later in life.

Looking at data analysed from nearly 400 young Singaporean adults, it found parents who lied to their children placed them at a greater risk of developing problems such as aggression, rule-breaking and intrusive behaviours.

Associate Professor Setoh Peipei, from NTU's school of social sciences and the study's lead author, said displaying dishonesty to children can send them conflicting messages.

Peipei said in a statement that the research suggests lying can present negative consequences for children.

"Parents should be aware of these potential downstream implications and consider alternatives to lying, such as acknowledging children's feelings, giving children information so children know what to expect, offering choices and problem-solving together, to elicit good behaviour from children."

But there were some limitations to the study, such as the research being unbalanced.

"Future research can explore using multiple informants, such as parents, to report on the same variables," Peipei said.

Parents can curb the issue, though, by simply telling the truth.

The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.