The effect of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene product (fragile X mental retardation protein [FMRP]) deficits on Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ) and FSIQ-adjusted Wechsler subtests and index scores in fragile X disorder were assessed using a robust modification of the maximum likelihood estimators for pedigree data. The results from 144 extended families have demonstrated a linear effect of progressively reduced levels of FMRP on the FSIQ and all subtest and summary scores in either gender. The effect of FMRP in decreasing FSIQ-adjusted subtest scores was highly significant for Digit Span, Symbol Search, Object Assembly, and Picture Arrangement, with a consistent trend in both genders. Heritability for FSIQ and unadjusted subtest scores estimated from the covariance model did not exceed 50% and varied widely from the highest for Verbal score to the lowest for Picture Completion score. Possible mechanisms by which FMRP deficit impacts on specific weaknesses in fragile X are considered on the basis of present data.