Hoarding and eating pathology: the mediating role of emotion regulation

Compr Psychiatry. 2015 Feb;57:29-35. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2014.11.005. Epub 2014 Nov 6.


Hoarding disorder is characterized by persistent difficulty discarding possessions resulting in clutter that precludes one from using living areas for their intended purposes. The limited empirical work available has suggested a strong link between hoarding and various non-psychiatric conditions, including obesity. Despite these associations, no research has examined the link between hoarding and other forms of eating pathology including symptoms associated with binge eating. Moreover, little is known about mechanisms that may account for this relationship. The current study examined the associations between hoarding severity, obesity, and symptoms associated with binge eating in a sample (N=97) of individuals with elevated hoarding symptoms. Results revealed that hoarding severity was associated with increased body mass index (BMI) and symptoms of binge eating. In addition, difficulties regulating emotions mediated the association between hoarding and eating concerns. Considering the lack of information on hoarding behaviors, as well as its classification as a new diagnosis within DSM-5, these findings add considerably to a growing body of literature on hoarding disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Binge-Eating Disorder / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Bulimia / psychology*
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Hoarding Disorder*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index