This article reports developmental changes relating to reconciliation and bystanders' affiliation with victims of aggression (i.e., consolation) among 3- to 5-year-old Japanese preschool children. Use of the postconflict-matched control (PC-MC) method revealed that the frequency with which reconciliation and consolation were offered to a victim increased steeply in 5-year-olds, compared with 3- and 4-year-olds. The complexity of contextual factors affecting the occurrence of reconciliation and the form of consolation increased with age. Consolation occurred more often before reconciliation than after among all but the 3-year-olds and occurred more often when no reconciliation occurred than when it did occur among all classes. These findings support the view that consolation functions as a substitute for reconciliation, lessening the tension experienced by the victim of aggression.
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