Under severe seismic excitation, structural behavior of buildings and other constructions is highly complex. It involves, among other issues, soil-structure interaction, large strains and displacements, damage, plasticity, and near-collapse behavior. Moreover, in reinforced concrete structures, there are several coupled degradation and failure modes: cracking, crushing and spalling of concrete, yielding and pull-out of tensioned reinforcement, yielding and buckling of compressed reinforcement. Furthermore, another circumstance makes the situation more alarming: given the increasing awareness and concern on the huge worldwide seismic risk, earthquake engineering has experienced in last years substantial advances. New design and analysis strategies have been proposed, leading to relevant developments. These developments rely on extensive testing and numerical simulation mainly based on oversimplified models referred in this work as structural component-based models, as a result of their moderate computational cost. Therefore, there is a strong need of verifying the reliability of the new developments by comparison with analyses performed using more advanced simulation tools and with experiments. This work is organized in two parts. First part presents an accurate model, while the second part deals with a more simplified model, although highly computational efficient. First part. This research clarifies the aforementioned issues by developing a new continuum mechanics-based model for simulating the monotonic and cyclic behavior of reinforced concrete structures. The developed model combines a new methodology for calculating the damage variables in Concrete Plastic Damage Models "CPDM", and a new approach to integrate CPDM with a 3-D interface bond-slip model developed by other researchers. A new scheme to implement the interface model in a continuum FEM model of regions with crossing reinforcement bars is also presented in this research. Mesh-insensitivity, accuracy and reliability of the proposed model are verified by simulating several monotonic and cyclic tests; the obtained results are compared with experimental ones, satisfactory agreement has been accomplished. Second part. The developed model is the First Part is compared with simplified structural component-based models that are commonly used in earthquake engineering; results has shown the superiority of the proposed model to predict the actual behavior of highly damaged RC elements and frames, capturing strength reduction, stiffness degradation and pinching phenomena. However, some of the structural component-based models have shown an acceptable performance considering the law computationally cost in comparison with the advanced continuum mechanics-based model. After this conclusion, this part presents a numerical study on the relation among the non-simulated deterioration modes of the elements in non-ductile RC frames and their final capacity. A structural component-based model has been developed for simulating the nonlinear dynamic behavior of non-ductile reinforced structures, accounting for flexure, shear and axial deterioration modes. The developed model is numerically efficient, thus being suitable for day use in earthquake engineering. The capacity of the developed model is verified by simulating the nonlinear dynamic behavior of an existing non-ductile building and the prototype building. Obtained results shows that the developed model, despite its moderate computational cost, detects and reproduces accurately the nonlinear dynamic behavior of non-ductile RC structures, as well, capturing the deterioration modes that are blind to the simplified models. Comparison with results from more simplified models highlights the importance of hidden failure modes in the behavior of each element and in the overall collapse mechanisms. The relation between the non-simulated failure modes and the so-called "Structural Resurrection" is addressed.