May 25 (UPI) -- A new longitudinal study by U.S. and Russian researchers found a direct link between teenagers lying and a higher risk of alcohol consumption in teens.
Conversely, the study found that excessive parental supervision may make the problem worse not better.
The study of more than 4,000 U.S. seventh and eighth-graders and their mothers was conducted with confidentiality. The adolescents answered audio questions regarding drinking alcohol.
The study showed the adolescents who admitted to lying to their parents were more likely to have a drinking habit or a higher risk of future alcohol addiction than those who reported being honest with their parents.
Researchers found that the teens who habitually lied to their parents about their activities away from home were more likely to start drinking alcohol, and at a younger age.
Trusting child-parent relationships lowered the tendency to lie and the risk of developing drinking habits in teens, while excessive parental monitoring was ineffective at preventing drinking and caused teens to lie more often to parents.
"Adolescence is the age at which children in our societies work hard to develop their skills of autonomy," Victor Kaploun, associate professor of the Department of Sociology at the National Research University Higher School Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia, said in a press release.
"In a situation where trust is absent from the relationship between parents and their teenage children, the latter might consider both lying and drinking as acceptable practices for developing autonomy skills. This is why such behaviors are interconnected, while excessive parental control can be counterproductive."
The study was published in the Journal of Adolescence.