PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dependency and abuse on depression according to gender in widowed elderly. METHOD: A convenient sample consisted of 246 widowed elderly who were more than 65 years old in four cities. Data was collected using a structured questionnaire from August to September, 2002. A dependency Scale developed by Ahn (1999) was used to measure the level of dependency. Emotional abuse and physical abuse were measured by 10 items for emotional abuse and 7 items for physical abuse selected out of the Conditions Scale of Elder Abuse. The level of depression was measured by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The SPSS WIN 11.0 version program was used for data analysis. RESULT: In male widowed elderly, dependency affected depression indirectly through emotional abuse. While in female widowed elderly, dependency affected depression directly and affected emotional abuse indirectly. CONCLUSION: The study showed that dependency was the most explainable variable on depression in widowed female elderly. Therefore, it dependency should be assessed first in nursing intervention to relieve depression of widowed elderly.