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Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Compulsive hoarding


Objective: The extant research on animal hoarding has a dearth of information on animal hoarding tendencies in adults diagnosed with hoarding disorder (HD). In the present study, we investigated possible recurrent animal hoarding behavioral and symptom patterns in individuals diagnosed with hoarding disorder. Methods: Hoarding severity scores from baseline assessments for 65 community-dwelling adults diagnosed with HD were analyzed with respect to their present and past animal ownership characteristics. Results: Approximately half of participants reported currently owning pets, and pet owners in the sample reported currently owning an average of two pets. Of the participants who reported currently owning animals, 10% reported having no rules for their pets’ behaviors, 51% reported having made at least one sacrifice for their pets, 54% reported having had at least one pet in childhood, and 29% reported that they believed they have a “special ability” to communicate with their pets. The results of the present study suggest that animal hoarding is not necessarily present in individuals diagnosed with HD.

Conclusion: No significant associations of current pet ownership characteristics with present hoarding severity were observed. Reported maximum number of pets owned in childhood was significantly correlated with present object hoarding symptom severity.


This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.



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