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Can We Get Too Attached to Our Possessions?

Posted Mar 19 2009 5:04am

Hypersentimentality to possessions may play in important role in the development and maintenance of compulsive hoarding. A study published in the April 2009 issue of Journal of Anxiety Disorders examined the formation of attachment to a newly acquired object in an sample of 62 subjects who had been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to determine whether specific hoarding symptoms moderated the development of attachment to an object over time. Participants rated their level of attachment to a keychain immediately upon receipt (time 1) and one week later (time 2). The authors investigated whether individuals with a tendency to hoard and strong beliefs about the value of possessions would exhibit greater attachment to the object over time. Statistical analysis revealed that a person' s initial attachment to the object was the best predictor of attachment one week later. Although emotional attachment increased similarly for all participants independent of their hoarding symptoms, specific hoarding-related beliefs and behaviors uniquely predicted initial attachment to the keychain. The authors discussed the results in relationship to potential treatment for compulsive hoarding disorders, including Diogenes Syndrome

Click here for the abstract.

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