Power and Sample Size Calculations for Contrast Analysis in ANCOVA

Gwowen Shieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) is commonly used in behavioral and educational research to reduce the error variance and improve the power of analysis of variance by adjusting the covariate effects. For planning and evaluating randomized ANCOVA designs, a simple sample-size formula has been proposed to account for the variance deflation factor in the comparison of two treatment groups. The objective of this article is to highlight an overlooked and potential problem of the exiting approximation and to provide an alternative and exact solution of power and sample size assessments for testing treatment contrasts. Numerical investigations are conducted to reveal the relative performance of the two procedures as a reliable technique to accommodate the covariate features that make ANCOVA design particularly distinctive. The described approach has important advantages over the current method in general applicability, methodological justification, and overall accuracy. To enhance the practical usefulness, computer algorithms are presented to implement the recommended power calculations and sample-size determinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMultivariate Behavioral Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • Analysis of covariance
  • contrast
  • power
  • sample size

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