Four functions were examined by which health and self-esteem could ward off depression over time in older adults. Adults (N = 1,074)--55 years and older--were interviewed 5 times at 6-month intervals. Demographic and prevent depression controls were included. Neither health nor self-esteem served as an interactive buffer. Both had direct negative effects on depression, independent of events, over 2 years. Neither illnesses nor bereavements had direct effects on depression; both had indirect effects through other events; illness also had indirect effects by weakening health. Health had stronger preventive effect on illnesses but was more vulnerable to undesirable events than was self-esteem. There was little support for the specificity hypothesis that a close match between event and resource would increase resource effects.