Illinois Institute of Technology Student Receives Research Grant

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD®) has awarded a research grant to an Illinois Institute of Technology student who is studying factors related to chronic disorganization. Catharine Elizabeth Hamilton, a sixth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program, was awarded the grant to examine the relationship between chronic clutter and deficits in sorting household objects. Hamilton’s study examines potential categorization deficits in individuals with chronic disorganization by comparing their performance and that of a matched control group on a neuropsychological measure of sorting ability and a sorting task using real-world objects. Results may help clarify whether chronic disorganization is associated with objective categorization deficits when sorting generic, non-personally significant items. If so, this would help explain why chronic disorganization is so difficult to overcome. It would also suggest that general sorting ability may be an additional area that professional organizers and therapists can target with skill-building activities to help people reduce clutter.

“Research is needed to better understand the causes, prevalence and impact of chronic disorganization,” said Amanda Scudder, CPO-CD®, research director of ICD®. “By supporting graduate students in the field of chronic disorganization, ICD® is helping to advance the body of knowledge surrounding chronic disorganization, identify the cognitive deficits that play a role, and support innovations in treatment strategies.”

To be considered for this competitive grant, requests were submitted by master’s and doctorate level students who are researching topics related to chronic disorganization, such as hoarding disorder, ADHD, OCD, depression, anxiety and traumatic brain injury.

Hamilton will produce a white paper about her research and present the findings at a virtual ICD® research event to be announced.

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ICD® is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide education, research and strategies to benefit those affected by chronic disorganization. ICD®’s international subscribership includes professional organizers, psychologists, social workers, educators, coaches and other professionals who work with individuals struggling with prolonged and severe disorganization. ICD® was founded in 2001 as the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization and officially became the Institute for Challenging Disorganization in 2011.