Skip to Main Content

Child Psychiatry

Child Psychiatry

Child Psychiatry

Dr. Tuckson speaks with child and adolescent psychiatry specialist Dr. Timothy Peters.
S15 E1 Length 27:15 Premiere: 10.6.19

How the Adolescent Mind Affects Behavior

Anyone who has been closely involved with children and teenagers, whether through parenting, teaching, coaching, or mentoring, has often wondered why kids behave in surprising ways. By learning new research findings into childhood and adolescent development, adults can better understand kids’ actions and also adjust their own behavior as grown-ups to become good listeners and role models.

In the 2019-20 season premiere episode of Kentucky Health, host Dr. Wayne Tuckson welcomes a Louisville child psychiatrist to discuss how the developing brain functions and shapes complex behavior patterns through adolescence and into early adulthood.

Dr. Timothy Peters is a child and adolescent psychiatry specialist practicing in Louisville. He is also a parent.

“We all have the sense when we’re young that life is simple,” Peters says, “but we’re all in the midst of developing into who we’re going to be as adults. It’s a minefield, and it’s a challenge, at each stage.”

Adolescent Behavior, Parenting Choices, and Social Media

Peters says the human brain is not intellectually mature until a person reaches their mid-twenties. Young people have more connections between pathways in the brain, sparking curiosity and learning but also resulting in less stable decision-making. Adults have fewer neuron connections, but those connections are stronger and more stable, Peters explains.

“When we’re young, we’re very emotionally driven, and it’s hard to have the self-control, the wherewithal, to think things through in a linear way,” he says. “Children, by their nature, are more impulsive. They have stronger inputs in terms of their emotions and less ability to stop and think things through. Those are skills that we gain over our adolescence and well into our young adulthood.”

Teenagers are constantly learning how to develop their thought patterns and keep emotions in check, and Peters says that the tech revolution and ubiquity of mobile digital media has made a huge impact on adolescent behavior.

“A lot of kids have a constant stream of inputs coming from other sources,” he says. “Instead of the face-to-face interactions and the life experiences that help a child to mature and learn and shape our abilities to interact socially, a lot of that is coming from a screen.”

That constant digital presence in teenage life is challenging for parents, Peters adds. Parents have a responsibility to make the right judgment about how many hours per day their kids should be allowed to spend online, or whether their data access on mobile phones should be restricted. Peters says that he favors limiting but not totally restricting access, pointing out that digital media also has benefits for young people, such as creating new communities of friendship and support.

Increased demands in school – from classwork, sports, and other extra-curricular activities – mean that kids in modern society have little down time. “There’s less time for the brain to just rest, and dream, and explore,” Peters says. The constant activity and pressure makes adolescents more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

Peters says that parents should try to provide structure in their kids’ lives, allowing time for family endeavors and one-to-one conversation. They should be on the lookout for a child who stops doing what they used to love to do and becomes withdrawn, staying in their room more often.

“Those are certainly important warning signs for the possible onset of depression or anxiety, also potentially for more complicated adolescent problems like substance abuse,” he says.

Parents often have difficulty communicating with their children, especially during the teen years. The stereotype of the sullen teen who wants to stand apart from their parents and other grown-ups is well-known, but Peters takes a different view of the kid-parent exchange: “I would turn it around somewhat and say it’s really hard for parents to take the time to listen.”

Peters points out that being a parent has helped his professional development as a child psychiatrist. He says that when talking to his own child, he always reminds to check his emotions at the door, and focus his energy and attention toward really listening to what his child is saying.

“I think it’s hard for everyone who is a parent to find that time and that energy to just wait, and not jump in and start to give advice and start to react when your child is talking about things, and just find a way to listen and let them speak at their own pace,” he says.

Peters says that although kids may initially be uncommunicative and withdrawn, most of them do want to open up and talk and get advice and guidance from grown-ups. Establishing a predictable routine that can build trust is very important, he adds.

“Parents have to do the best they can in terms of taking the time to listen to their kids and have an opportunity to let them free-form, to let them talk about what’s important to them and not jump in,” he says. “To give them a chance to express things in their way.”

Diagnosing and Treating ADHD

One of the most well-known behavioral conditions affecting children and adolescents is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. Peters says ADHD is a biological condition that has neurological underpinnings and shows a strong degree of genetic inheritance. ADHD can significantly hinder a child’s ability to participate in school, especially in completing multi-step tasks, and it can also affect behavior in social situations.

“The core symptoms are things like hyperactivity, being driven, feeling that you have to move constantly, impairments in your focus, attention, and concentration,” Peters says. Typically, ADHD presents in young children, and it can extend through adolescence and into adulthood, although Peters says symptoms of ADHD are somewhat different in adults.

Cases of ADHD are more prevalent among the U.S. population than in other countries, which could be because psychiatrists here are better equipped to analyze children for symptoms, but also could be attributed to the demands of modern American society. Peters cautions that ADHD should only be diagnosed once other potential causes for a child’s behavior traits are ruled, out and he says that there is a danger of applying an ADHD diagnosis too readily when a child is hard to control.

“I think that ADHD represents a natural variant of the human condition – kids that need to explore, kids that need to wander, that need to have their eyes in all corners of the room instead of being able to pay attention easily to what’s in front of them,” he says. “And modern society is somewhat forced that performance aspect of being able to attend to something right in front of you for prolonged periods of time as a desirable trait, whereas maybe in prehistory that wasn’t the case.”

Treatment of most child behavioral disorders usually involves a combination of family-based remedies, one-on-one therapy, and medications, Peters says. For ADHD, medication is the main treatment modality, since most people respond well to the drugs. But Peters says that kids with ADHD still need to be educated on how to recognize their symptoms and, with the aid of medication, control them.

“It’s a very treatable condition, it’s a condition that’s very responsive to medication, which is not necessarily true of all child psychiatric disorders,” he says. “But ADHD is one where, if you can get the medications right, it can make a big difference.”

Program Details

Kentucky Health

About Kentucky Health

Learn how to improve your health through education and increased awareness. Dr. Wayne Tuckson, a colorectal surgeon in Louisville, hosts.

TV Schedules

Jump to Recent Airdates

Upcoming

Visualizing a Smoke-Free Kentucky

Bonnie Hackbarth, vice-president of external affairs at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, talks about why Kentucky’s smoking rates are so high, addiction to e-cigarettes, and the need for effective smoke-free laws.

  • Friday January 22, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 22, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 22, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 22, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Friday January 22, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 22, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 23, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY

Crohn's Disease: When Surgery is Required

Dr. Tuckson speaks with colorectal surgeon Dr. Sandra Kavalukas of UofL Health about evaluating patients with Crohn’s disease and when surgery is recommended.

  • Sunday January 24, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 24, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 25, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday January 25, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Friday January 29, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 29, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 29, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 29, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Friday January 29, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 29, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 30, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY

Pancreatic Cancer: Uncommon But Deadly

Dr. Michael Egger, leader of the Cancer Care and Control Program at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center, talks about pancreatic cancer and how difficulties in early detection have contributed to making it one of the deadliest forms of cancer today.

  • Sunday January 31, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 31, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 1, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday February 1, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Friday February 5, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 5, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday February 5, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 6, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY

Kentucky Health

  • Sunday February 7, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 7, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 8, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday February 8, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Friday February 12, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 12, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday February 12, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 13, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 19, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 19, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY

Kentucky Health

  • Sunday February 14, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 14, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET
  • Monday February 15, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday February 15, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Friday February 19, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday February 19, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
Jump to Upcoming Airdates

Recent

Visualizing a Smoke-Free Kentucky

  • Monday January 18, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday January 18, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET

COVID-19 Vaccine: Ready for Prime Time

  • Sunday January 17, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 17, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 16, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 15, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 15, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Friday January 15, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 15, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Friday January 15, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 15, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 11, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday January 11, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET

Contact Tracing: Knowing Keeps Us All Safe

  • Sunday January 10, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 10, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 9, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 8, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 8, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Monday January 4, 2021 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday January 4, 2021 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 4:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 11:30 am CT on KET

Strengthening the Immune System Through Diet

  • Sunday January 3, 2021 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Friday January 1, 2021 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 1, 2021 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Friday January 1, 2021 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday January 1, 2021 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Monday December 28, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday December 28, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 11:30 am CT on KET

Nutrition and Weight Management

  • Sunday January 3, 2021 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 8:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 3, 2021 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 2, 2021 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 1, 2021 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 4:30 pm CT on KETKY

Reducing the Burden of Diabetes in Kentucky

  • Sunday December 27, 2020 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Friday December 25, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday December 25, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Monday December 21, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday December 21, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 11:30 am CT on KET

The Immune System: Not Just Fighting Infections

  • Sunday December 27, 2020 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 8:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 27, 2020 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday December 26, 2020 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 25, 2020 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 5:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 4:30 pm CT on KETKY

Race-Based Trauma

  • Sunday December 20, 2020 7:00 am ET on KET2
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 6:00 am CT on KET2
  • Friday December 18, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Friday December 18, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Friday December 18, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Friday December 18, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET

New Approaches to Shoulder Replacement

  • Sunday December 20, 2020 9:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 8:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday December 20, 2020 12:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Saturday December 19, 2020 11:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday December 18, 2020 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday December 18, 2020 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 15 Episodes

Catching My Breath: Lung Diseases and Their Causes

S15 E24 Length 27:25 Premiere Date 5.24.20

Pain Management and Treatment of Addiction

S15 E23 Length 26:55 Premiere Date 5.17.20

Intestinal Microbiome: Care and Feeding for Your Health

S15 E21 Length 25:51 Premiere Date 5.3.20

Health Care Networks

S15 E20 Length 27:11 Premiere Date 3.29.20

Diabetes: It's More Than Just Sugar

S15 E19 Length 26:56 Premiere Date 3.22.20

Filling Prescriptions: Why Can't I Just Buy Online?

S15 E18 Length 26:46 Premiere Date 3.15.20

Caring for Patients with Developmental Disabilities

S15 E17 Length 27:03 Premiere Date 2.23.20

Rural Health Care Practices: Serving a Region In Need

S15 E16 Length 28:46 Premiere Date 2.15.20

Pediatric Anesthesia: Making Surgery Easier for Kids

S15 E15 Length 26:54 Premiere Date 2.9.20

Rehabilitation: Getting Back to the New Normal

S15 E14 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 2.2.20

Microclinic: Simple Solutions for Complex Problems, Part 2

S15 E13 Length 27:35 Premiere Date 1.26.20

Microclinic: Simple Solutions for Complex Problems, Part 1

S15 E12 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 1.19.20

Changing Curriculum to Meet Unique Patient Needs

S15 E11 Length 27:14 Premiere Date 1.12.20

Colon Cancer: Can We Prevent Unnecessary Deaths?

S15 E10 Length 26:56 Premiere Date 1.5.20

Infections and Other Urinary Tract Problems

S15 E9 Length 27:02 Premiere Date 12.15.19

Health Insurance for All: What Does It Mean?

S15 E8 Length 27:50 Premiere Date 11.24.19

Huntington's Disease

S15 E7 Length 28:42 Premiere Date 11.17.19

Natural Approaches to Health and Nutrition

S15 E6 Length 26:52 Premiere Date 11.10.19

Vaping, E-Cigarettes and Kids: Not a Good Mix

S15 E5 Length 27:37 Premiere Date 11.3.19

Breast Cancer: Determining Your Risk

S15 E4 Length 27:36 Premiere Date 10.27.19

Cystic Fibrosis: Improvements in Outcomes

S15 E3 Length 26:53 Premiere Date 10.20.19

Rhinoplasty: Looking Good, Breathing Better

S15 E2 Length 27:42 Premiere Date 10.13.19

Child Psychiatry

S15 E1 Length 27:15 Premiere Date 10.6.19

Explore KET