Genetic linkage analysis is a powerful tool for the identification of disease susceptibility loci. Among the most commonly applied genetic linkage strategies are affected sib-pair tests, but the statistical properties of these tests have not been well characterized. Here, we present a study of the distribution of affected sib-pair tests comparing the type I error rate and the power of the mean test and the proportion test, which are the most commonly used, along with a novel exact test. In contrast to existing literature, our findings showed that the mean and proportion tests have inflated type I error rates, especially when used with small samples. We developed and applied corrections to the tests which provide an excellent adjustment to the type I error rate for both small and large samples. We also developed a novel approach to identify the areas of higher power for the mean test versus the proportion test, providing a wider and simpler comparison with fewer assumptions about parameter values than existing approaches require.
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