Fauzia Malik, Anila Kamal


Background: Hoarding is a complex phenomenon that has received extensive attention in recent years. Most studies have been conducted in Western culture with few from other regions of world, which advocates need to explore the phenomenon in different cultural contexts. Objective of this study was to ascertain the perception of hoarding behavior among general population of Rawalpindi and Islamabad cities of Pakistan.

Materials & Methods: This exploratory qualitative study with grounded theory design was conducted in National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan from September 2015-May 2016. Sample of 46 subjects from different socio-cultural backgrounds was selected from otherwise healthy adult (20-60 years) population of Rawalpindi & Islamabad cities of Pakistan by purposive sampling. A qualitative research methodology was employed to develop theoretical understanding of phenomenon. Focus group discussions with six groups were conducted to assess existence and phenomenology of hoarding behavior in present cultural framework. Data was analyzed using grounded theory method.

Results: Findings of this study support current literature concerning the role of emotional attachments, associated positive and negative affect, certain personality characteristics and early experiences in development and maintenance of hoarding behavior. This study also confirms that material possessions are source of security by providing sense of identity to owner, and are considered symbols of status in society. Finally, it involves the account of socio-cultural aspects like status transformation, with resulting sense of competition, gender role, impact of material deprivation, and religious construction of phenomenon that emerged as more of culture specific elements in indigenous settings of Pakistan.

Conclusion: This study addresses factors that underpin major themes in relation to form and prevalence of hoarding behavior in cultural context of Pakistan and discusses the findings in reference to the similarities and differences with extant literature.


Hoarding; Material Culture; Psycho-social Aspects; Qualitative Research; Grounded Theory; Focus Groups

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