Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Narcissism, aggression and violence: A systematic review of clinical and experimental studies; 2) Supporting the Transition to University of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder; 3) Beliefs in Compulsive Hoarding: A pilot study of their development over time.

  • Sinead Lambe

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Compulsive hoarding is characterised by the accumulation of and failure to discard, alarge number of objects of seemingly little value to the extent that living spaces cannot be usedfor their intended purpose. Hoarding is considered to be a debilitating and progressive condition.However, little is known about the progressive course of hoarding. Despite developing in earlyadolescence, individuals do not typically present for treatment until later life. At this point it isdifficult to identify the features that represent the core psychopathology from secondarydifficulties resulting from chronicity. A research protocol was developed comparing older andyounger individuals with hoarding in order to identify, which beliefs are associated withhoarding and which are the result of other ‘downstream’ secondary problems. However as nostudy has attempted to recruit younger hoarders it was necessary to carry out a pilot study. Thepilot study aimed to assess rate of recruitment, acceptability of protocol and provide preliminary psychometric data on new measures designed for the purpose of this study. As expected the rate of recruitment for younger hoarders was lower than that of older hoarders. Older hoarders were recruited at approximately twice the rate of younger hoarders; 1 per 1.6 weeks compared to 1 per3.2 weeks. Participant response rate on the questionnaires was 85%. In addition the high response rate and feedback from participants indicates that the procedure is acceptable and not too burdensome. As the data was normally distributed it was possible to carry out provisional data analysis. Results suggested that younger and older hoarders do not differ in severity of hoarding symptoms, beliefs about hoarding or anxiety and depression. However full scale study is necessary to confirm provisional findings.
Date of Award16 Sept 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPaul Salkovskis (Supervisor), James Gregory (Supervisor), Ailsa Russell (Supervisor) & Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (Supervisor)

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