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Coping Styles of Compulsive Hoarders and their Relationship to Psychological Distress Open Access

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The current study investigated coping styles of 67 compulsive hoarders and their respective hoarding level of disturbance from hoarding symptom severity in explaining psychological distress. This study explored the relationship of the bidirectional interaction of coping styles and hoarding symptom severity on its unidirectional effects on psychological distress. Results indicated that two coping styles (avoidance and distraction-oriented coping) had an effect on the level of disturbance from hoarding symptoms in explaining levels of psychological distress. Emotion, avoidance and distraction-oriented coping styles were positively correlated with psychological distress. Emotion and distraction-oriented coping was positively correlated with level of disturbance from hoarding symptom severity. The level of disturbance from hoarding symptom severity was positively correlated with psychological distress. When all of the coping styles (task, emotion, avoidance, distraction and social diversion) were entered into a regression equation, coping styles did not emerge as having a relationship with level of disturbance from hoarding symptom severity, and it did not explain psychological distress. However, analysis of sets of coping styles with level of disturbance from hoarding symptom severity on psychological distress did show some positive significant relationships. Coping skills training is recommended for mental health providers and professional organizers to provide to individuals that compulsive hoard prior to a decluttering intervention.

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