In this study, a coupled shear stress-diffusion model is developed for the analysis of adhesively bonded single lap joints (SLJs) by applying Fickian diffusion model to the adhesive layer. Differential equations of equilibrium are formulated in terms of adhesive material properties that are time and location dependent. By invoking a Volkersen approach on the equilibrium equations, a shear stress differential equation is formulated and numerically solved. Several scenarios are considered for investigating the effect of diffusion on shear stress distribution in adhesively bonded SLJs. Detailed discussion of the results is presented.