ELSS Clinical Study

Exploring the Effects of Early Childhood Stress on Hoarding Disorder


Hoarding disorder (HD) is a highly disabling condition in which individuals have persistent difficulty parting with personal possessions, which results in clutter and inability to use the rooms in the home for their intended use. It causes public health problems when clutter attracts pest infestations or obstructs fire exits in apartment buildings, endangering both personal and
neighbors' safety.

Better treatments are needed to prevent the morbidity of hoarding disorder. Buried in Treasures Workshop (BIT) has been shown to
improve symptoms of hoarding disorder including decreasing acquiring, and improving difficulty discarding, but room for improvement remains.
While it has been noted that the initial on-set of symptoms generally occurs around 11-15 years and that individuals with Hoarding Disorder are more likely to have experienced previous trauma, the connection between Hoarding Disorder and early life experiences has not been well-researched.

This project seeks to use survey data and interviews to explore this connection and contribute to our understanding of the relationship between early life stress and Hoarding Disorder.


The Rodriguez Lab is looking for adults 18-70 years old with difficulty in discarding items to take part in a study providing these possible benefits:

  • Free diagnostic evaluation
  • Free test of your memory and attention

You can participate if:

  • You are between the ages of 18-70
  • You are acquiring items and have difficulty to discard them 
  • You are willing and able to understand and complete consent procedures 
  • You have the capacity to provide informed consent

You cannot participate if:

  • You have major medical or neurological condition that makes participation unsafe

Duration of Study Involvement

  • Each individual will participate in a free diagnostic evaluation by experienced clinicians
  • If eligible the study will involve 2 in-person or teleconference visits of approximately an hour each before and after participation in the BITS study

Contact us


401 Quarry Rd

Stanford, CA 94305-5715



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