A finite-element method is developed to study interlaminar stress effects for the multilayered isotropic medium subjected to in-plane loads. Unilateral boundary value problem formulation is presented. Variational finite difference equations obtained from the finite-element discretization are derived for boundary as well as transmission conditions. This permits to analyze interlaminar normal and tangential stress distributions. An influence of geometrical and physical parameters of the multilaered media lo the interlaminar stresses is discussed. (C) 2002 IMACS. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.