PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Poster Session C - Mental Health Sciences 1.

‘Behind the Curtains of Hoarding Behavior’: Preliminary Insights from a Hungarian Community Sample


Borbála Bányai1, Balázs Matuszka2
1: Semmelweis University Doctoral School, Mental Health Sciences Division, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Program
2: Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Institute of Psychology, Department of Personality and Clinical Psychology

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Hoarding behavior is a multifaceted phenomenon influenced by various cognitive, emotional, and environmental factors. Hoarding beliefs play a crucial role in the development and sustainment of clinically relevant hoarding symptomatology. While prior research has identified distinct belief profiles in Hoarding Disorder (HD), understanding the manifestation of these beliefs across different hoarding stages remains limited.

Aim: We aim to explore the psychometric characteristics of a new scale on hoarding-related beliefs and vulnerabilities.

Methods: A 46-item measure, the Hungarian Hoarding Beliefs and Vulnerabilities Questionnaire, comprising beliefs about possessions derived from a Q-methodological exploration, was transformed into a 7-point Likert-scale. Administered alongside the Hungarian Saving Inventory-Revised (HUSI-R), data were analyzed through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to unveil underlying belief dimensions and their relation to hoarding tendencies.

Results: The sample consisted of 358 Hungarian adults (78% women, MAGE = 40.88; SDAGE = 16.29), 13% exceeded the HUSI-R cutoff for clinically significant hoarding, while 17% were subclinical. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a four-factor model (Total variance explained = 68.8%) consisting of 17 items, encompassing Identity and Life Narrative, Moral Responsibility, Physical Security, and Emotional and Attachment Security dimensions. Confirmatory factor analysis confirmed this model's robustness, showing good fit indices (CFI = 0.941, TLI = 0.928, RMSEA = 0.070) and high internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.826 to 0.882). Medium to strong correlations were found between hoarding, obsessive-compulsive, depression, and anxiety symptoms with Moral Responsibility and Physical Security. Differences in hoarding beliefs among subgroups remained unclear.

Conclusion: We condensed the 46-item questionnaire into a 17-item version due to our quantitative strategy's reliance on Q-sorting, a mixed-methods technique. Caution is warranted in interpreting our exploratory findings, as this is an initial study. Further exploration in clinical samples is needed to understand associations with severe psychopathology symptoms, but examining latent belief dimensions offers valuable insights into hoarding behavior mechanisms.

Funding: This research received no external funding.