Micro-mechanical analysis of polymeric composites provides a powerful means for the quantitative assessment of their bulk behavior. In this paper we describe a robust finite element model (FEM) for the micro-structural modeling of the behavior of particulate filled polymer composites under external loads. The developed model is applied to simulate stress distribution in polymer composites containing particulate fillers. Quantitative information about the magnitude and location of maximum stress concentrations obtained from these simulations is used to predict the dominant failure and crack growth mechanisms in these composites. The model predictions are compared with the available experimental data and also with the values found using other methods reported in the literature. These comparisons show the range of the validity of the developed model and its predictive potential.