A new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications found that the male mice who experienced stress early and often had offspring who were able to cope better under pressure.
Researchers put the baby male mice in stressful situations right away, separating them from their mothers for several hours a day and sometimes forcing them to swim. Later, their offspring were less hesitant to go through a maze than mice with non-stressed fathers. Even though some mice appeared to be more resilient, this wasn't necessarily good news.
"If we look at the whole behavior of these animals, the benefit is really a very small proportion of the effects," study co-author Isabelle Mansuy, a neuroscientist at the University of Zurich's Brain Research Institute, told the Los Angeles Times. "Most other effects are fairly negative, because the animals are depressed, are antisocial, and have cognitive impairment."