Exploring the extent and developmental pattern of lying among children
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The present study explored the extent and developmental pattern of lying among 7-10-year olds (Grades 1-4 pupils). The study was premised on the assumption that many children lie and that there is a developmental pattern in children's lying. Participants were 80 Grades I to 4 pupils randomly selected from one school in one of Harare's high density suburbs. The experimental research design was employed. Interviews were used to collect data. Overall, the study established that, first, the majority of children lied, especially 7-8-year olds (Grades I&2,). There were more liars among the 7-8-year olds than among the 9-10-year olds (Grades 3 & 4). Second, children's ability to conceal their transgressions increased with age. The 9-10-year olds were more successful in sustaining their lie by denying their transgression of peeking than the 7- 8-years olds. In view of these findings, the study recommended that people and institutions (e.g. courts, schools, etc) that deal with children should interpret what children say with caution since many children lie. Older children are more able to conceal their lies such that naive adults may not be able to detect the lies.