Abstract In this paper, a generalized plane strain model is developed for orthotropic composite lamina including transverse crack which satisfies the stress field continuity. An attempt is also made to obtain the cracked unit cell strain energy. It is applied to predict the lamina properties having a uniform distribution of ply cracks. The results can be used in the FEM damage analyses of laminated composites to predict constitutive response of them. It is shown that, the predicted stress/strain behaviors, and the damage initiation are in good agreement with the available experimental results for various cross ply laminates.