In 181 urban African Americans with Type 2 diabetes, medication adherence was assessed using a measure designed specifically for an urban, impoverished sociodemographic population. Hemoglobin A-sub(1c), blood pressure and cholesterol levels, medication-related beliefs, and depression were assessed. Seventy-four percent of the sample reported adherence to diabetes medication. Adherence, adjusted for age, was associated with lower hemoglobin A-sub(1c). The specific behaviors associated with poorer diabetes control were forgetting to take medications and running out of medications. Knowledge of blood glucose goals differed for adherers and nonadherers. Blood pressure and cholesterol medication adherence rates were not associated with actual levels of blood pressure or lipids, respectively. These data suggest that specific medication-taking behaviors are important to diabetes control and constitute logical targets for interventions. ((c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).