We analyze some aspects of scan statistics, which have been proposed to help for the detection of weak signals in genetic linkage analysis. We derive approximate expressions for the power of a test based on moving averages of the identity by descent allele sharing proportions for pairs of relatives at several contiguous markers. We confirm these approximate formulae by simulation. The results show that when there is a single trait-locus on a chromosome, the test based on the scan statistic is slightly less powerful than that based on the customary allele sharing statistic. On the other hand, if two genes having a moderate effect on a trait lie close to each other on the same chromosome, scan statistics improve power to detect linkage.