Some genes that affect development and behavior in mammals are known to be imprinted; and > or = 1% of all mammalian genes are imprinted. Hence, incorporating an imprinting parameter into linkage analysis may increase the power to detect linkage for these traits. Here we propose theoretical justifications for a recently developed model for testing of linkage, in the presence of genetic imprinting, between a quantitative-trait locus and a polymorphic marker; this is achieved in the variance-components framework. We also incorporate sex-specific recombination fractions into this model. We discuss the effects that imprinting and nonimprinting have on the power of the usual variance-components method and on the variance-components method that incorporates an imprinting parameter. We provide noncentrality parameters that can be used to determine the sample size necessary to attain a specified power for a given significance level, which is useful in the planning of a linkage study. Optimal strategies for a genome scan of potentially imprinted traits are discussed.