- Transient response of simply-supported circular cylindrical shells is investigated using a higher-order shear deformation theory (HSDT). The theory is a modification of the Sanders' shell theory and accounts for parabolic distribution of the transverse shear strains through thickness of the shell and tangential stress-free boundary conditions on the bounding surfaces of the shell. The results obtained using the classical shell theory (CST) and the first-order shear deformation theory (FSDT) are compared with those obtained using the higher-order theory. The state-space approach is used to develop the analytical solutions to the equations of motion of the three theories. 1990.