Traumatic life events are one potential risk factor for hoarding, though little is known about mechanisms that could account for the association and it is unclear whether the relationship is unique to traumatic stressors. The present investigation examined the association between hoarding symptoms and general stress in a large nonclinical sample (N = 465). We also considered a model by which stress could be linked with hoarding. Results revealed that stress particularly interpersonal stress was related to greater hoarding symptoms, despite controlling for a range of mood and anxiety symptoms. Of the three cardinal hoarding domains, only clutter and acquiring had a robust association with stress. Path analysis found support for emotional intolerance as a partial mediator of the connection between stress and hoarding; however, the causal directionality of this model remains unclear. Results are discussed with respect to future investigations and the clinical implications of the connection between stress and hoarding.
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