Anxious attachment and excessive acquisition

the mediating roles of anthropomorphism and distress intolerance

Melissa M. Norberg*, Cassandra Crone, Cathy Kwok, Jessica R. Grisham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background and aims: Most individuals with hoarding disorder (HD) are prone to excessively acquiring new possessions. Understanding the factors that contribute to this collecting behavior will allow us to develop better treatment approaches for HD. The aim of this study was to test our assumption that an anxious attachment style is associated with a tendency to anthropomorphize comforting objects and an inability to tolerate distress, which in turn leads to excessive acquisition. Methods: A total of 361 participants with subclinical to clinical acquisition problems (77.8% female) completed a series of self-report measures. Results: As expected, greater anxious attachment was related to greater distress intolerance and stronger tendencies to anthropomorphize inanimate objects. In turn, greater distress intolerance and anthropomorphism were related to more excessive buying and greater acquisition of free items. Examination of the pathways and indirect effects showed support for double mediation rather than serial mediation, as distress intolerance did not predict anthropomorphism. Discussion and conclusion: These novel findings, if replicated, suggest that adding treatment modules that target improving distress tolerance and reducing anthropomorphism to standard treatment for HD may lead to further reductions in excessive acquiring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • insecure attachment
  • hoarding disorder
  • emotion regulation
  • emotion dysregulation
  • maladaptive beliefs

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Anxious attachment and excessive acquisition: the mediating roles of anthropomorphism and distress intolerance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this