This paper will present the nature of nonadditive, or configural, models & contrast them with additive models. Nonadditive models are based on specific combinations of characteristics, e.g. hopelessness may function differently as a risk factor in abusers & nonabusers. 955 subjects were followed up over a 10-year period. 4 risk factors for suicidal behaviour were selected for study. Each risk factor was found to be associated with an increased suicide rate.