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J Anxiety Disord. 2011 Dec;25(8):1116-22. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2011.08.002. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Hoarding behaviors among nonclinical elderly adults: correlations with hoarding cognitions, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and measures of general psychopathology.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, FL, United States.


This study examines correlates of hoarding behaviors among nonclinical elderly adults, focusing upon hoarding cognitions, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and measures of general psychopathology. Two hundred and sixty-nine adults aged 56-93 years (M=72.49 years) completed the Saving Inventory-Revised, Savings Cognitions Inventory-Revised, Obsessive Compulsive Inventory-Revised, Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, Penn State Worry Questionnaire, and Beck Depression Inventory. Our geriatric sample evidenced significantly greater severity of hoarding behaviors than did a younger community sample (24-72 years; M=44.4 years; Frost, Steketee, & Grishman, 2004). Within our sample, moderate correlations were found between hoarding behaviors and hoarding cognitions; however, controlling for obsessive-compulsive and depressive symptoms resulted in reduced-magnitude associations. As well, relationships between obsessive-compulsive symptoms and both hoarding behaviors and hoarding cognitions were generally strong, with most relationships diminishing after controlling for depressive symptoms. Associations between hoarding symptoms and symptoms of social anxiety, general worry, and depression were generally moderate. A significant regression model showed depressive symptoms explaining the most unique variance in hoarding behaviors. Findings confirm a relatively greater severity of hoarding behaviors in older adults (as compared to younger adults) and suggest that related psychopathology plays a critical role in hoarding expression among older adults. As well, the current study contributes to the ongoing investigation of the diagnostic categorization of compulsive hoarding.

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