We present unified predictions for the crack onset strain, evolution of crack density, and changes in electrical resistance in indium tin oxide/polymer thin films under tensile loading. We propose a damage mechanics model to quantify and predict such changes as an alternative to fracture mechanics formulations. Our predictions are obtained by assuming that there are no flaws at the onset of loading as opposed to the assumptions of fracture mechanics approaches. We calibrate the crack onset strain and the damage model based on experimental data reported in the literature. We predict crack density and changes in electrical resistance as a function of the damage induced in the films. We implement our model in the commercial finite element software ABAQUS using a user subroutine UMAT. We obtain fair to good agreement with experiments. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.