Research Finds Gender May Play A Role In Communicating with Teens


NPR recently released an article on new research that has found parents have a difficult time be honest at times when communicating with teens. That research also found that parents may express themselves as better role models based on what gender their child is. Parents modeled honest behavior more with daughters than they did with sons.

The Research

To conduct this research, researchers studied a group of parents. They had the parents come in and play a game and each parent was told to toss two coins. If both coins came down the same way—both landed on heads—the parents got a prize. The catch was that no one monitored how the coins actually landed, so parents were at liberty to report their outcome however they seemed fit. Based on the law of probability, only 25 percent of parents should have had two coins fall the same way.

The researchers found that a large amount of the parents cheated. When they expected 25 percent of people would win, 40 percent actually reported winning—meaning 15 percent of parents were outright lying.

Parents Communicating with Teens Based on Gender

The twist, is that researchers had parents play the game with their kids present. They found that parents cheat less when they’re playing the game with their kids and communicating with teens. But the gender of their kid played a significant role in whether they would lie. Ultimately, researchers found that parents communicating with teens that were girls acted more honestly than when communicating with teens that were boys.

Researchers believe that parents communicating with teens and their honesty based on gender is based on society holding women to higher ethical standards than men. Researchers have also found that parents are more willing to cheat and lie when communicating with teens when they believe kids are going to be the beneficiaries of their cheating.

Communicating with teens is an essential part of building positive and healthy relationships. If you or your teen are struggling to maintain a healthy relationship, there are programs available that can help.

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. As a residential treatment center for teens, we try to go above and beyond other RTC’s by having not only one on-site psychiatrist, but two practitioners who see each student weekly. We also have an academic component that uses an accredited curriculum and licensed/credentialed teachers. With all of this, we strive to give each student the most efficient and beneficial experience possible.

For more information about Elevations RTC, please call

Elevations Quick Facts

Leading RTC Accreditations


Ages 13 – 18

Comprehensive Medical / Psych

Community-based Approach

Fun, Experiential

Accredited Academics

Real-World Setting

Recent Posts