Perceptual Influences for Potential Hoarders
Hardy, Sam; Ricks, Marie; Appel, Brian; Dresden, Alex; Svanevik, Stephanie
Hoarding is defined as "(1) the acquisition of, and failure to, discard a large number of possessions that appear to be ... of limited value, (2) living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which these spaces were designed, (3) significant ... impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding, and (4) reluctance ... to return borrowed items." The average age of onset for hoarders is 11-15 years of age, with most hoarders reporting symptoms before age 20. Our research sought to find correlations regarding public perceptions of hoarding, including demographic, personal, and socioeconomic factors. Using a 55-question online survey and taking advantage of social networking and byu.sona-systems.com and after doing a smaller pilot study, we gathered pertinent information regarding hoarding perceptions and hoarding self-identification from 1265 participants. These research results confirm that the perceptual influences for potential hoarders were positively correlated with age, gender, education, and income. In addition, those that knew hoarders and those who identified themselves as hoarders were positively correlated with knowledge of treatment options, potential pursuit of those treatments, and belief that treatment could be successful as they aged. Thus, we can promote early life education programs regarding hoarding, especially if targeted to appropriate audiences, as an influential factor in reducing hoarding behaviors.