The aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of supports on the actual stress distribution of the single-lap adhesive joints under tension using the three-dimensional finite element methods. Five layers of elements were used across the adhesive thickness in order to obtain an accurate indication of the variation of stresses. All the numerical results obtained from the finite element analysis show that the spatial distribution of all components of stress are similar for different interfaces though the stress values are obviously different. The results also show that most of the maximum stresses occur at the interface 1. It can be seen from the results that the stresses are concentrated near the left free ends of the adhesive layer while the centre region of the adhesive layer is mostly stress-free.