For many Hong Kong Chinese elderly, depression and financial strain are quite a common occurrence. This study examines the mediating and moderating effect of sense of control in the relationship between financial strain and depressive symptoms. The data came from a survey of a representative community sample of 411 elderly respondents in Hong Kong. Using multiple regression models, the authors found that generalized sense of control mediated and moderated the linkage between financial strain and depressive symptoms even after controlling socio-demographic variables but sense of control over finances did not. Findings suggest that generalized sense of control should be enhanced to protect older people under chronic financial strain from depression. Copyright © 2001 Taylor & Francis Ltd.