As per your comment below:
"Generally speaking, RPG doesn't initialize data structure elementsI understand what your saying but my understanding is that the countprefix is there to tell you if an element is present or not - so if it is missing I would expect zero.
unless you specifically tell it to. In the case of the XML-INTO, it
doesn't initialize the children of an element until it actually accesses
that element. "
I have tried this out and can see it does this if in my example I had a countpeanut and the was no peanut, but at the same time babyNut would still be blank, but I would have thought the XML into should also set it to zero as it is missing. It seems to only deal with what is missing at the highest level.