Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Eric A. Storch

Co-Major Professor

Vicky Phares

Keywords

Adult Children, Compulsive Hoarding, Impairment, Parental Psychopathology, Path Analysis

Abstract

Compulsive hoarding is characterized by difficulty discarding unneeded items and the accumulation of items within living spaces and is associated with significant functional impairment and distress. Along with the negative impact on the individual, previous reports have indicated that compulsive hoarding is not only impairing and substantially burdensome for family members, but also linked to disruptions in family functioning. The present study utilized a path model analysis to examine the associations between an array of hoarding variables hypothesized to impact family functioning and parent-adult child relationships in 199 adult children of hoarders. Results revealed that family functioning mediated the relationship between hoarding severity and parent-adult child relationship. Decreased insight into hoarding symptoms was directly associated with decreased quality of parent-adult child relationships, which was mediated by family functioning. Increased family accommodation was significantly associated with increased impairment (work, social, family domains) in adult children of hoarders. Clinical implications and future directions in research are discussed.

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