A network analysis of hoarding symptoms, Saving and acquiring motives, and comorbidity

Kiara R. Timpano, Sierra A. Bainter, Zachary T. Goodman, David F. Tolin, Gail Steketee, Randy O. Frost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Hoarding disorder is marked by strong attachments to everyday objects, extreme difficulties discarding, and impairing levels of clutter. We examined the associations between hoarding symptoms and associated clinical features using network analysis in a large sample of individuals with established hoarding disorder (n = 217) and matched healthy controls (n = 130). Network nodes included the three core features of hoarding (difficulties discarding, clutter, and acquiring), along with comorbid symptoms, impairment, and saving and acquiring motives. Models showed hoarding and comorbid symptoms as separate syndromes. Healthy and patient networks differed significantly in both global network strength and structure. For the hoarding patient network, the comorbidity and hoarding clusters were connected by acquiring and anxiety, which served as bridge symptoms. Clutter was the only hoarding node associated with impairment. Hoarding beliefs were not central to the model, and only difficulties discarding was associated with saving and acquiring motives, including emotional attachment and wastefulness beliefs. Our findings indicate that the network approach to mental disorders provides a new and complementary way to improve our understanding of the etiological model of hoarding, and may present novel hypotheses to examine in treatment development research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100520
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Apr 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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